Tuesday 11 October 2022


Synopsis/blurb ...

Billie Jo Higgins may be small, but she is a skilled burglar, using her craft to keep her and Toby, her addict twin brother, afloat in a hard world. It is a difficult life, but the two are surviving. They take care of each other.

Then B.J. stumbles into the wrong house at the wrong time and sees something she shouldn't. The explosive secret she now holds is dangerous, and the person it threatens immediately pursues B.J. with the solitary intent of silencing her forever.

Suddenly, "survival" takes on a whole new meaning...

(*NOTE: Jack McCrae mysteries, Sandy Banks thrillers, and Stanley Melvin PI Stories also take place in the shared universe of the SpoCompton series)

Tough, tense, harrowing, scary, exciting and sad. Another top read from Zafiro in one of my favourite series and settings - his SpoCompton universe.

I was experiencing a bit of a reading slump this month. Not anymore as this one had me gripped.

Twins, Billy Jo and Toby. One a burglar and barely keeping herself and the other, her heroin addicted brother barely afloat. 

Scout, scope, act, flee, fence, feed, score and sleep. Repeat ad finitum. It's a grim lifestyle, but other options don't exist. 

Dangers - cops, especially a female detective with a hard-on for BJ; the parole officer - even if he ain't such a hardass; bangers; citizens - outraged by home invasion and violation; the two desk clowns at the fence's lock-up; the comedian at the grocery store always with a cruel word and a sneer; the creepy landlord with his alternate payments option instead of the rent; and maybe Toby's appetites themselves.

One of the above catches Billy Jo in its headlights, and survival just got tougher.

Haunting, satisfying, and my kind of story, with a couple of outsiders trying to get by when the rest of the world doesn't give a damn.

5 from 5

Roll on the next in this top, top series.

All the Pieces FallAt Their Own Game and In The Cut are the first three bangers in this cracker of a series. 

Read - October, 2022
Published - 2022
Page count - 191
Source - review copy from author
Format - Kindle


  1. I like these characters already, Col, just from your short description. And that's an interesting premise, too. It sounds like a good example of characters who are on the wrong side of the law, but who are good people in their way, if that makes sense. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Margot, I'm really enjoying Frank Zafiro's work. He's been a great discovery for me in the past few years.


  2. Zafiro is not only a good writer but also a prolific author. Another one for the list.

    1. Elgin, prolific is right. I wonder if he ever sleeps.