Fern Michaels, Hokus Pokus

Posted October 26, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Hokus Pokus (Sisterhood, #9) (Rules of the Game, #2)Hokus Pokus (Sisterhood, #9) by Fern Michaels
Series: Sisterhood, 9
            Rules of the Game, 2
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ninth in the Sisterhood vengeance-suspense series based in Washington D.C. although the ladies are currently in exile in Spain and revolving around a group of women seeking a more just justice than could be found in the courts.

The Story
Supreme Court Chief Justice Pearl Barnes is in trouble. And she’s not above blackmailing one of her oldest friends into helping her. When the judge confronts Nellie Easter with what she knows and what she needs, Nellie is appalled. She wants to help her friend. Hell, Pearl deserves their help. But, not if she intends to use such measures!

True to form, the ladies of the Sisterhood jump into action when they hear from Nellie. First, however, they will act to ensure their safety and the safety of those still in Washington D.C. Then they will explore Pearl Barnes’ problems. If such a woman can consider blackmailing her oldest and dearest friends, could she be above entrapping them?

The Characters
I suppose you could say the characters are all strong in terms of how they evolve from where they began and the results they achieve. I wish that Michaels wasn’t so sophomoric in their creation even though she does obviously have great fun in forging them.

Just to catch you up: Ted Robinson, the Post reporter, is still following them and becomes enraged when he sees Maggie Spritzer, his about-to-be-former girlfriend, seemingly one of the enemy. Lizzie Fox and Nellie Easter have joined the Sisterhood as part of the second team which consists of Harry Wong, Jack Emery who is now back with the district attorney’s office, and Agent Bert Navarro.

All the rest of the perpetual characters are in place including Charles Martin and Myra Rutledge, Nikki, Yoko, Isabelle, Kathryn, Annie, and Alexis.

My Take
As ever, the main topic in this installment and throughout the series has been about achieving justice for those who are betrayed by our current legal system. In this instance, a judge has been aiding and abetting women and children who have not been protected by the same system of justice the judge has sworn to uphold. And it seems the members of her own family are behind the blackmail being visited upon her!

Michaels alternates between the upbeat and the suspenseful as she drivels her way through her characters’ actions. As usual, the writing is juvenile even as I want to know how the ladies will solve this particular dilemma. Michaels has chosen an excellent topic which appeals to my own sense of injustice and it is that which continues to drag me along.

I’m giving it a “4” because I enjoyed Michaels’ clever use of the rock band to slip the ladies in and out. But it’s a bare “4” as I don’t understand Michaels’ allowing her characters to brag so much!?? What’s with that? Tell enough people all the illegal stuff you’re doing, no matter how justified, and it can rebound on you!

The Cover
The cover is lovely! A beautiful sky blue forms the background with a soft-focus around an old farmhouse with porch nestled into the trees with a lake as its frontage. I think it’s a corral between house and lake but the setting of the poles is so random and uneven.

I can only imagine that the title is a poke at the magic that Charles and the ladies seem to perform in creating their desired results as they cause Pearl to disappear and their manipulation of the public’s fascination with a group of women rock stars, the G-String Girls. You must be totally prepared to go beyond a mere suspense of belief.

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