Author: Alretha Thomas
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Year Published: 2023
“Nerdection Must read”
Things aren’t always as they seem
Pamela Carter is a woman on a mission. When we meet her right before an interview, she has one goal and one goal alone: to secure the Executive Intern position at Clifford Investments, a fortune 500 company situated in a prestigious part of Southern California, Dancing Hills. She is driven. More so than any other candidate the company has seen in the five years the internship position has been available for. Her determination goes above and beyond simple ambition. Beneath it lies something else. Something of a darker origin. An obsession with bringing an entitled perpetrator to justice burgeons as we are let in on each devastating secret of their victims. With each chapter that goes by, a new piece of the puzzle is added to the overall picture. A meticulous plan followed to the letter is her only chance of success. Pamela’s wits guide her decision making until the very end when one final, life changing decision must be made: mercy or complete, unrestrained revenge?
The Executive Internship program created by Andrew Clifford 𐤛 himself is what Pamela Carter has dedicated the past decade of her life to. Each candidate gets only three chances to apply. This year marks Pamela’s third and final attempt. She’s up against the very best in Veronica Johnson. Veronica has the very few things Pamela lacks but ultimately, she isn’t Pam and her interview introduces us to Pam’s irresistible charm.
From her first few exchanges with Andrew Clifford 𐤛, founder of Clifford Investments, you can tell she has him right where she wants him. Andrew, on the other hand, reveals himself to be an unsavory character. Escalating the violation of professional boundaries further and further every time they interact. This is what Pam must endure if she is to enact the multi-step plan she’s worked on tirelessly for years with the help of a mysterious character yet to be revealed until the two separate stories, told through two different points of view, finally converge into one.
Alternating chapters are dedicated to Pamela and Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a young, struggling 17 year old trying hard to make it work in the Big Apple. Her best friend, colleague and neighbor, Sandy, is all the family she has. She comes from a tragic background; having an unsupportive mother with a rotation of pervert boyfriends does little to foster a safe environment for a child. It’s no wonder she took to the streets the first chance she got. Before Sandy, a hard, solitary life is all she knew. An opportunity strides into her life one day in the form of a handsome, wealthy young man. One who sweeps her up into the whirlwinds of fantasy, of the life she has always envisioned for herself in detail as only a writer at heart could.
Unbeknownst to us, a connection links these two women through their respective time periods; from the past to the present. It is up to us to find out the circumstances that bring them together as we flip through the pages, slowly unwinding their individual tales as they are presented to us.
My Take on The Girl in the Blue Blazer
When two separate stories are being told concurrently, finding a common theme to bind the two together is paramount. Alretha achieves this through the use of symbolism. To the unsuspecting readers, the mention of writing as a career, a blue garment or the talks of a pregnancy and birth mean nothing to us when they crop up the first time. As we bounce back and forth between points of view, things start to get a little clearer as we find out the shared attributes of the two characters, Elizabeth and Pamela, for ourselves. In this way, the story becomes an immersive adventure. We are turned into explorers, collecting artifacts of a bigger picture that will then assemble itself at the end.
The proverbial carrot is dangled before us as Alretha Thomas leaves us hanging on to incomplete bits of information, reeling us in like a fish on the rod. I, for one, was biting. Alretha trickles details into her writing to create a sense of foreboding and suspense. These details let us know what to look out for in the future. We find ourselves chasing that “A-Ha!” moment which lies just around the corner into the next sentence, the next paragraph, the next chapter. We keep an eye out for these clues and gather them as we read on. Our engagement and attachment is boosted through the implementation of this literary tool. It builds up to the crescendo which arrives tantalizingly late in this book. The work put into earning my investment at the very start, and maintaining it throughout pays off in the latter stages. I found myself tapping the screen of my device to check which page number I was on in anticipation of the final clash between the two forces with Pam on the side of justice and Andrew, the face of evil. It was as if I was hooked up to a heart monitoring machine. Just when I’d recovered, Alretha’s words would accelerate the beating of my heart before repeating the cycle. A marvelous feat achieved only through the most flawless writing.
Try as I may, I could not find a single fault in Ms.Thomas’ writing. She sealed off any potential holes in her plot; it is airtight and impregnable. Her background in the film industry just makes sense. Alone, this book stands firmly on its own two feet but it would not surprise me in the slightest to see this story adapted into a movie or a dramatic mini-series. It’s got all the signs of a successful literary work. I will try my best to cling on to my memory of this book for as long as I can, however, I also look forward to forgetting all about it just so I can experience reading it again as if it were my first time .
Abortion, Misogyny, Nudity, Sex, Sexual Assault, Violence.
About The Author Of The Girl in the Blue Blazer
Shortly after graduating from USC with a degree in journalism, Alretha soon realized her interest in her major was not heartfelt. Instead of writing news stories, she wanted to write plays and books. Several years later, her church gave her an outlet to fulfill her writing desires through their Liturgical Fine Arts Department wherein Alretha penned twelve theatre pieces—the community response was overwhelming. This led to plays outside of the church, including Alretha’s One Woman, Two Lives, starring Kellita Smith (The Bernie Mac Show), directed by four-time NAACP Image Award Best Director recipient, Denise Dowse. The production garnered rave reviews from critics and audiences.
In between plays, Alretha self-published her first novel, Daughter Denied, in 2008 and has received glowing reviews from readers and book clubs across the country. Representing her book and plays, Alretha has been the guest on many radio shows and television shows including San Francisco Public Affairs show Bay Sunday with Barbara Rodgers on CBS affiliate, KPIX. She was also interviewed by KTLA News Entertainment Reporter, Sam Rubin. In 2011, Alretha self-published her second novel, Dancing Her Dreams Away, and it was also well received. Her third novel, Married in the Nick of Nine, spawned a four-book series that was acquired by Soul Mate Publishing in January 2014. The series has since reverted back to her. In August 2014, Alretha was awarded the Jessie Redmon Fauset Literary Award for her indie novel, Four Ladies Only. In 2016, Alretha created the Detective Rachel Storme Mystery Series: Justice for Jessica, Losing Lauren and A Penny for Her Heart. In 2018 and 2019 Alretha debuted two additional mystery books—
The Women on Retford Drive and The Truth About Gretchen, respectively. Her most recent novel is The Girl in the Blue Blazer.
Alretha is also an actress and can be seen in numerous commercials and television shows. She currently plays Anastasia Devereaux on Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living that airs on BET.