Almost Home by Pam Jenoff
Jordan Weiss is a member of the American foreign service. She has been assigned to trouble spots all over the world but now, after less than a year back in Washington, she is being assigned to the location she dreads most of all: London. It is not so much the sort of work that will be found in London that gives Jordan pause, but her past at Cambridge, where her college boyfriend Jared died unexpectedly. However, Jordan’s best friend has been diagnosed with ALS and is in London for treatment, and Jordan does not feel that she can leave her alone, so to London she must go. Things start to get complicated when an old college buddy approaches Jordan, telling her that he doesn’t think Jared’s death was what it seemed. Even stranger, it begins to become apparent that Jared’s death seems to somehow be mixed up in the case she is working.
“Almost Home” isn’t quite my usual fare, but I really enjoyed it. I’d say it is slightly on the mystery/thriller-y side of contemporary fiction. Jordan is not quite a spy, but she’s definitely on the intelligence side of things, so that lends an air of ‘thriller’ to the whole thing, as does the fact that it is written in present tense. I know present tense annoys a lot of people and it does annoy me sometimes, but I actually didn’t notice it most of the time that I was reading, because I was engrossed enough in the story. There was just one thing that really drove me crazy in the book, and that was when people called Jordan by the nickname Jordie, I must say I do NOT like that name! Sounds like a little dog’s name to me.
This was a fun book and an engaging read. I do wish that the first half of the book had had a slightly faster pace and that the end had been spread out a little longer, it seemed that a whole bunch of information was revealed in a very short number of pages at the end. I have to say, though, that now that I’m done with “Almost Home,” I cannot WAIT to read the sequel, which I believe is being released in July.