Series opener Save Me From Dangerous Men, by S.A. Lelchuk, is a wild run. I almost put it down a few times at the beginning because I found some aspects of protagonist Nikki Griffin highly implausible. But I kept going because, sometimes you need something that’s both thrilling and a little bit goofy.
Nikki Griffin has two very different jobs. Her Clark Kent-esque day job is owner of a surprisingly successful bookstore a few miles from Berkeley University. Her superhero job is private detective and avenger of battered women. The bookstore and the private investigations pay the bills while Nikki provides a sharp lesson in not mistreating women to men who abuse them. (One of the tertiary characters calls Nikki Lisbeth repeatedly, even though she asks him not to.) Within the first few chapters, we see Nikki in all her guises before she is offered the job that will fuel the book’s plot.
A very slick CEO of a company about to go big offers Nikki a very large amount of money to follow an employee who he believes is conducting corporate espionage. When that employee turns up dead after revealing that the company, Care4, is up to no good, Nikki puts her avenger hat back on and rains down violence on a whole bunch of men who hurt women and other innocents.
Throughout Save Me From Dangerous Men there are excerpts from Nikki’s sessions with her court mandated therapist. Nikki has anger issues; she has no problem admitting that. She does have a problem with how the therapist suggests she deals with her anger: giving up beating people up. Nikki worries (a bit) that she’s a monster, but not enough to stop (violently) helping people she feels need her protection. Nikki’s role as an avenging angel is what kept me going through this book, even though I think there are a few Mary Sue problems with the protagonist.
I would definitely recommend this book to readers who want to see men who hurt women righteously punished.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.