Book Review: Jump Cut: An Ellie Foreman Mystery (Ellie Foreman Series) by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Jump Cut: Rushing Towards Summer’s End
With Exceptional Espionage Action

Libby Hellmann fans will be delighted to hear her protagonist Ellie Foreman, Chicago video producer, is back after a ten year hiatus… and soon entangled in a web of espionage, murder and suspicion that threatens to destroy what she holds most dear.

Libby Fischer Hellmann, author of Jump Cut (Poisoned Pen Press), is the author of eleven previous novels, and this is her fifth in the award-winning Ellie Foreman mystery series. Jump Cut touches on many issues of what she calls the “Post-Snowden era” – privacy vs the possible overreach of official surveillance; the “clean war” of drone attacks, and computer hacking.

Hired to produce a candy floss corporate profile, Ellie is dismayed when the project is canceled; her suspicions soar when a contact who might have answers is killed by a subway train before they can talk. In the confusion, she finds a seemingly abandoned pack of cigarettes with a flash drive inside that belonged to the now-dead man. Ellie has the drive’s contents decrypted, but before long she discovers she’s under surveillance.

Ellie and her boyfriend, Luke, try to find answers, but they don’t realize how far they ventured into the dangerous echelons of hidden power… where more lives are on the line, including theirs.

Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Twelve novels and twenty short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few.

With the addition of Jump Cut in 2016, her novels include the now five-volume Ellie Foreman series, which she describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24;” the hard-boiled 4-volume Georgia Davis PI series, and three stand-alone historical thrillers that Libby calls her “Revolution Trilogy.” Her short stories have been published in a dozen anthologies, the Saturday Evening Post, and Ed Gorman’s “25 Criminally Good Short Stories” collection.

In 2005 Libby was the national president of Sisters In Crime, a 3500-member organization dedicated to the advancement of female crime fiction authors. She also hosts a monthly radio show called “Second Sunday Crime” on the Authors on the Air internet radio network.

For more information on Libby and her latest book, please visit http://www.libbyhellmann.com/.

Jump Cut
ISBN: 978-1-464205-19-4
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Kirkus Reviews: “After a long hiatus, Hellmann returns to her Chicago-based sleuth with a chilling tale that may be all too close to the truth.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review: “Exceptional… As Hellman’s convincing, conflicted characters face impossible choices, the tension is real and memorable.”

Booklist: “Hellmann’s writing sparkles…plenty of suspense in this richly detailed thriller, but Hellmann’s characteristic wit and warmth are evident, too.”

Gayle Lynds, New York Times best-selling author of The Assassins: “From spies to drones and hackers, Jump Cut is a heart-stopping tale of corporate espionage that will have you snapping on your seatbelt. The tangled web of international intrigue is riveting. Hellman is a renowned master of suspense, and her great talent shows in the story’s many rich characters, the beautifully honed paragraphs, and the sweep of her provocative story. A keeper!”

Amazon Customer Review:

5 stars  A thriller that will keep you enthralled, a wild joyride into terror  Reviewed by Nightreader

This new Ellie Forman book took me to a place of excitement, creativity and secrets; the creation of a video to be played in sections, ‘chapters’ as Ellie puts it, for a huge aeronautic corporation is very well written, as Libby Fischer Hellman turns out another fascinating storyline of probable murder and plenty of mayhem thrown in the works. Libby has a definite feel for her characters, they always come alive (or dead as the case may be.) I always like to learn something new from a book, and learn I did. I thought the work on the video editing, how and what was done was very interesting, and certainly looked forward to seeing what ‘Waldo’, Gregory Sparks, was up to. Why did he show up in so many places on this coporate video? He said he was a consultant, but who does he really work for? Why is he asking so many questions if he is indeed a consultant? Why is his visibility in the video a cause for Ellie’s work to be shut down immediately?
Now, fired and miserable, Ellie will begin to pick up the pieces and try to learn what happened. Taking action as she always does, she sets up a meeting with Gregory, meeting where their various El trains intersect. But, why is he so late? Screams and panic sound the alarm as she approaches the point where his train should be coming in. She’s not going to get any answers here. As she accidentally discovers a flash drive she knows could only have come from him, she pockets it. Now she hopes to learn the truth about why she was fired.

Here the pace picks up substantially and the reader is thrust into a roller coaster of terror. A thriller that will keep you enthralled with espionage, spies and kidnapping. Her associates trying to keep her safe yet solve the puzzle include her boyfriend and her daughter as well as the police and the FBI, because this has suddenly become an international case. Luke fears for Ellie’s life but has some good connections. Ellie suspects phone-tapping, computer hacking, and the ever-present shadowing of every movement she makes. Libby Fisher Hellman knows how to get your adrenaline going and turns it up with a different version of what she does so well. IEDs, encrypted files, hacked computers, lots to keep the reader on high alert in this one. We always know what Ellie Forman is prone to do, but we never know just what it will be from book to book. So glad she is back, she is a solid character and often unexpected.

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