The Blow Off Review
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Author Mickey J. Corrigan first caught my eye with her gritty short romances set in the beachside town of Dusky Beach, Florida. Now, with The Blow Off, she moves north for a longer adventure about a bunch of women who are desperately in need of a little bit of love and a whole lot of money.

The story begins as Boston resident Shea O’Grady hits rock bottom. Desperate to pay the bills, she takes to the streets, working for an outrageous—and dangerous—pimp. When, after just one night, she realizes that she’s not cut out for the work, she comes up with a new seduce-and-rob business plan. With the help of her handsome drug-dealing neighbor, she puts together a team of women who are happy to help with her new venture. But emotions, reservations, and unappealing targets threaten to get in the way of the crew’s success.

It may have a different setting and a longer format, but The Blow Off still has the same distinctive voice and edgy tone as Corrigan’s shorter stories.

The story focuses on a promising character who finds herself traveling down the wrong path. Smart and driven, Shea left her unstable upbringing in Florida behind and moved to Boston in hopes of getting an education and beginning a career as a college professor—but, as is too often the case, a man got in the way. Her relationship with a handsome journalist derailed her dreams, and when he abandoned her, she began a heartbroken downward spiral. Her challenging childhood mixed with her recent defeats have made her both tough and cynical—and that comes through in everything from her choices to her language.

Shea may be secretly hopeful, but she isn’t exactly sweet and innocent. She’s foul-mouthed and blunt—sometimes to unnecessary extremes. And though some aspects of her story aren’t developed as well as others, she’s still a strong, unique character. You may not approve of the choices she makes, but she’s likable enough that you may still find that you want everything to work out for her in the end.

The rest of the crew members, meanwhile, round out the story with their diverse personalities. Each woman is seeking her own kind of freedom and independence—and while they’re distinctly different characters with different stories and different goals, they all come together as a team, building some unlikely friendships in the process.

Of course, their story isn’t always an easy one to read. It’s a rough and sometimes graphic story about desperation and degradation—yet Corrigan gives it touches of beauty, humor, and hope to keep it from sinking into darkness and despair.

With The Blow Off, Corrigan tells yet another smart but seedy tale of a woman who’s forced to do whatever it takes to get by. It’s the exact opposite of fluffy chick lit. And though it isn’t quite as much fun as some of her shorter stories, it’s still a sharp and distinctive read.

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