I thought the idea behind this story is one of the most high concept I've ever seen: a tough, middle-aged cop is transformed into a young woman. I actually expected this to be a comedy. There are some funny moments, but the story is played pretty straight, and even with some genuine drama and heartbreak.
In Chance of a Lifetime, we meet Steve Fischer, a tough police detective straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel. One night, while mourning his estranged daughter, he gets a tip that a local mobster is breaking into a pharmaceutical company. Fischer goes to stop them, a gunfight ensues, and Fischer gets injected with a strange chemical and left for dead. Amazingly, Fischer doesn't die. Instead, he gets transformed into a beautiful young woman.
That's the starting point for an extraordinary journey. Fischer takes on a new identity, Stacey Chance, moves in with his old partner, and gets a new job at a thrift shop. There are several challenges that Chance faces, including trying to keep her new identity a secret, an unexpected reunion with her daughter, falling in love, and trying to get her revenge on the man who caused the transformation in the first place. The adjustment to becoming a woman is handled realistically, and effectively. Chance struggles with new emotions, boobs, and even her first period. The beginning and the end of the story are more action oriented, but the bulk of the story is a journey of self-discovery, and Chance's attempts to connect with Fischer/Chance's daughter.
Overall, it's a powerful and intriguing story well-told, and a nice starting point for the Chances Are trilogy.