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Recent Readings 2 – Karen Rose, Linda Fairstein, Jilliane Hoffman

April 4, 2010

When I think about what I read, I always think I don’t read much by female writers, however it appears that this is not always the case. Not sure why I don’t perceive it that way.

Karen Rose – I Can See You

There seems to have been a concerted effort by the publisher of these books to move them out of the romantic suspense category and firmly into thriller/suspense. I can understand why, as I expect it increases the potential audience by quite some amount, but I’m not convinced. I have enjoyed every one of Rose’s previous books, but I’m a bit of a romantic suspense fan anyway. In this book, the main storyline revolves around Eve, who also featured in the early novels Don’t Tell and Nothing To Fear. Scarred from her earlier ordeal, she is working on her thesis about a Second Life-type game, but breaks the rules around her test subjects when she becomes concerned one may have been murdered. The investigation lands her in the orbit of a detective who has been trying to avoid her, due to his own issues. Eve is a believable and likeable heroine, whilst Noah is sufficiently dark and brooding to be attractive as the hero, whilst never being too dark. The central mystery was well-plotted, and although I had an idea who the killer was, I changed my mind a few times as the twists developed. I’m eagerly awaiting the next novel, Silent Scream, which is due next month.

Amazon link

Linda Fairstein – Hell Gate

The latest Alexandra Cooper novel sees the Assistant District Attorney investigating human trafficking and political corruption, but does not feature any courtroom action at all. While this has never been a huge feature of the series, there’s usually been a court scene of some kind. I do enjoy the history lesson which Fairstein weaves into her novels, but in this case, it seemed like the plot had been contrived around the setting, and I missed the tension of the early books. I had figured out the bad guy by about half way through, and there was nothing afterwards to make me think I may be wrong. I also wonder how much longer the Cooper/Mike tension can be built before it ends up dominating everything else, and I felt as though the final pages were an afterthought to add more of this, rather than being necessary to the main story. Overall, I was a bit disappointed by this book, but I still look forward to next year’s installment.

Amazon link

Jilliane Hoffman – Pretty Little Things

It’s been a while since we had a new book from Jilliane Hoffman, so I was a little surprised when this popped up in my ‘Recommendations’, but I had enjoyed her previous novels, so it went in the basket without me even looking to see what it was about. I’m impulsive like that! From the beginning it was very clear to me where the plot was going, and I have to give a lot of credit to the author here, as so often when technology is included in a plot, it’s done in an unrealistic way, or it’s clear the author doesn’t really understand it. In this case, I think the research which has obviously gone into this paid dividends, as none of the tech details jarred with me. The central plot, of girls being lured away by people on the internet who may not be what they appear to be, is not new but was believably written. I also did not have a clue who the bad guy was, right to the end. The main character was likeable and his connection to the case was well plotted, and I finished the book in one day, as the pacing didn’t let up, and I wanted to read more. I think this was probably my favourite of the three books listed here, although it’s quite a different kind of thriller to the Karen Rose book. I definitely hope we don’t have to wait several years for another one.

Amazon link

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