3 stars out of 5.
Well, as far as crime stories go this was a pretty straight-forward one.
Not too many suspects to choose from, no unnecessary twists and far-fetched turns, no unpleasant surprises… That was nice. The case is interesting, the characters are likeable (unless, of course, those you aren’t supposed to like) and the author changes the POV a few times, so the reader also gets a glimpse into the reasons and the reasoning of the killer.
So far, so good.
The main problem I had with this book was – once again – the love story, because it manages – also, once again – to undermine the educated, intelligent and reasonable main characters the author had built up until then.
It seems to me that authors often tell us how brave, calm, intelligent, logical and so on and so forth their characters are, but utterly fail to let them actually ACT that way. But – to me – actions still speak louder than words. Just saying.
This love story was not only completely unnecessary, incomprehensible and lame, it also got to the point where it really interrupted the reading fluency. Also, it seemed very rushed and constructed, like someone said, “Okay, we need a love story, otherwise readers will lose interest. There must be a kiss here, a sex scene here and then we’ll see how it goes.”
Which leads to a tough-but-traumatized main-character who actively suppressed her fears for 15 years instead of processing and overcome them, and who suddenly isn’t so traumatized at all anymore when she meets her ex-boyfriend again whom she also hasn’t seen for 15 years. Or spoken to. Or has had any contact at all to. And despite not having had contact for 15 years, despite Lizzy supposed-to-be-still-traumatized and having a fuckload of unresolved problems and questions between them, they french-kiss within, like, the first five seconds after having met again.
Of course, not without endlessly telling themselves and the reader what a spectacularly bad idea that is.
And without stopping to do it nevertheless.
Jared is even a profiler at the FBI and studied psychology. He, at least, should know better than to rush things like that. But, well… Apparently “sex sells” and to hell with rhyme or reason.
The worst part is: it could’ve been a very nice love story.
IF the author (or the publishing house?) hadn’t insisted on barging in without establishing a reasonable foundation first. (And, sorry, but “they’ve been together 15 years ago, before Lizzy got abducted and severely traumatized” just isn’t cutting it.)
Jared is a nice guy and Lizzy is fine, too. Towards the end of the book there’s a really lovely scene in which they discuss what would probably have happened if Lizzy hadn’t been abducted and they had stayed together up until now. A scene in which they actually TALK about them, about some things that happened ten years ago. If that had been all that happened between them in THIS book (and maybe a kiss) and the sex had come in the NEXT book, I really could’ve gotten on board with it.
Being as it is, this “love story” feels rushed, listless, lame and leaves the slightly bitter taste of a good idea wasted.
Still, 3 stars out of 5, because, like I said before, I really like the case, most of the characters (especially Jessica and Hayley) and usually people aren’t as nitpicky as I am regarding love stories, and manage quite well to not be annoyed by them. 😉 It’s not a must-read, but it isn’t bad, either.