Thursday, May 14, 2020

Review Tour + #Giveaway: Hard Luck Girl by Topshee Johnston @TopsheeJ @GoddessFish

by Topshee Johnston
GENRE: Mystery/Thriller


Hard Luck Girl is a mystery about prostitution in a location better known for gardens than gangsters — Victoria, British Columbia.

Rose's life has never been easy. When she finds her pimp murdered it gets a whole lot harder. At first, she sees it as an opportunity but discovers the status quo has been disrupted and she's not at the top of the food chain, not even close.

Avoiding psychopaths, police, and friends like thieves, there is no one she can turn to for help not once she discovers a pimps life is cheap, a prostitute's even cheaper.

Stuck between the desire for a better life and holding on to hers, is a needle she's not sure she can thread. But maybe Hard Luck is better than no luck at all?

"A gritty novel with a surprising and strong female lead. Johnston offers all the expected hard-boiled elements in this mystery—including shady characters, near misses with the police, rampant sex, drug use, and violence.”

- Kirkus Review


On my knees, I pulled Rod’s stash out from the air conditioner. I took a hefty-sized rock, held it in my hand, and weighed both it and the circumstances. She came for crystal meth, but she’d take whatever I gave her. I dug back in the air conditioner and pulled out the suspect bag when her words stuck me. “He’s got that good ice.” How did she know that? It was a chance to conduct an experiment and find out what she knew. If someone came back for the drugs and saw that the bag was short, I’d pay for it or replace it. No harm, no foul. But if it was laced with fentanyl and had in fact killed Rod, Suzy would be dead in minutes. It might make me complicit in murder, but she’d end up there at some point anyway, like a package in the mail. I’d just upgraded the shipping. If it didn’t kill her, she’d be grateful to me for giving it to her. If caught with it, she could point her finger at me and remain innocent. We were a begrudged sisterhood of sorts, we all hated the clients, society and life—we didn’t care for each other all that much either.

She looked like a dog waiting for a treat when I opened the door. She stepped toward me, hands out and palms open. She examined it before I’d even placed the poison apple in her hand, as if it were a cruel joke. She waited for me to name my price, and I let her sweat like I was about to but didn’t. I placed it in her hand, and to let her off my invisible leash said, “Don’t worry. I know you’re good for it.” She wet her cracked lips, possibly thinking about the repercussions, but her immediate appetite trumped an unknown future. She wasn’t good for it, and luckily, she didn’t have to be. I’d used her cravings against her and gained at least a favor.

My Review:

Rose visits her pimp and finds him dead in his hotel room. She decides against contacting the police with her being a prostitute they would probably blame his death on her. After her decision Rose finds that hiding a body from her friends and the police is a lot harder than she thought it would be. But of course Rose never made plans to cover up her boss’s death.

Hard Luck Girl tells Rose’s story of how she kept her boss’s death a secret from everyone. After she decided to not contact the police she then proceeded to make plans to get rid of the body without anyone seeing her or finding out.

Rose soon realizes that she could change her life forever. If she wants she can find something else to do with her life or she can continue being a prostitute. Will Rose change her life? Or will she continue being a prostitute?

Hard Luck Girl drew me in from the first page and held on right up until the end and is stilling hanging on. Hard Luck Girl is filled with suspense and unpredictability that keeps the pages turning. When I read the summary I didn’t quite know what to expect but I wasn’t disappointed in the least. Hard Luck Girl was everything it promised and more. After reading that first page there was no putting it down after that I had to know what how it was all going to turn out.

I would recommend Hard Luck Girl to anyone looking for a good mystery thriller. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Topshee Johnston, author of Hard Luck Girl, writes because it's the only way to get his characters to stop talking to him. He lets them tell their story and trusts their voice. Once a story is finished, he moves on to the next in line.

He lives in Victoria, B.C with his wife and daughter and when he's not writing, he's skateboarding, playing guitar, or fly-fishing.

Connect with Canadian author Topshee Johnston on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or on his website.

Check out the book on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Indigo/Chapters!


$20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Robert said...

Thank you so much for taking time to bring to our attention another great read. I enjoy these tours and finding out about many terrific books.

Bernie Wallace said...

Do you have any writers that inspired your writing style?

Merwinn2 said...

I love the cover. Especially the put out cigarette.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great excerpt & review!

Cali W. said...

Great giveaway and excerpt. :)

Bernie Wallace said...

What character was the most fun to write?

Topshee Johnston said...

I can't think of any writer's that inspired my style. I just try to be direct and not overly discriptive.
The cover was my idea but designed by a friend.
The main character, Rose, was the most fun to write.

Bernie Wallace said...

Have you read any good books in quarantine. Congrats on the release.

Topshee Johnston said...

Thanks Bernie. I've been rereading books that I told myself I would someday. Books like, Bad Haircut and Election by Tom Perrotta. Trying to keep it light and funny right now.

Bernie Wallace said...

I hope your book is a success. It sounds like a good read.

Bernie Wallace said...

Are any of the characters in your book based off of characteristics or personalities of people that you know?

Andra Lyn said...

What made you choose the lead character you did - a female prostitute? Obviously as a man, and (I'm assuming) not a prostitute (:P) there would have to be a lot of creativity and mind bending to get inside that character's head. How do you feel you did in doing that character justice, and realism?

Bernie Wallace said...

How many books have you written so far? Congrats on the release.

Bernie Wallace said...

Your book sounds like alot of fun. Thanks for sharing.

elaing8 said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book

Topshee Johnston said...

Sorry for the late replies.Thanks for all the kind words Bernie.
I always try to draw from real life in the write what you know vein. However, every character in the story is fictional.
Andra Lyn, I choose the lead female character because I worked in an area for ten years with lots of visible prostitution. I empathized for the women yet saw them as being mentally tougher than I could ever be. I was also in a creative writing class at the time when we were asked to write about our greatest fear. Perhaps unsurprisingly, prostitution was the first thing that came to mind and it was huge challenge at first. We'd submit what we were working on anonymously and every one thought it was written by a woman so I took that as a positive sign. Truthfully, I wrote as candidly as I could, making sure Rose was tough, smart and resourceful. I think I did pretty good job making it realistic but allowing for fictional drama to play its part.

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