Friday, 17 August 2007

Crazy Love by Tara Janzen

Just how old is Dylan? That question is not answered in the book and not knowing the answer kept me from enjoying the story fully. Because I'm not really interested in 'dirty old man lusts after young girl' romances. And especially not interested in 'dirty old boss lusts after the young office girl.'The novel is about number 4 in a series but I'm not sufficiently motivated to buy all the previous ones.

Having said that. Crazy Love still has a lot going for it. Like verve, panache, chutzpah and happiness. The story is set in DC and some kind of parallel universe where the SecDef is a 100% good guy and any behaviour by special forces is acceptable so long as they are protecting America's interests. There is a jaw-dropping passage in the book which I will quote;

"...a successful mission in Afghanistan that had netted the US a long sought-after terrorist leader. No-one was naming names. Word had yet to leak out that the terrorist leader was even missing, let alone that he was sitting in a cell in Guantanamo Bay." Hur, hur. As if.

Yet I know this story is fairly typical of a genre. Aimed entirely at women. Where the whole world's problems will be solved by US Special Forces.

Also typically. The mission, no matter how important, can go hang while the main characters sort out their various sex lives. I thought it fairly creepy how Dylan groped poor Skeeter inside the vault. He has to be drugged up to the eyeballs before he can express his emotions to her. Eww.

Here's the moral conundrum. There is no doubt that Skeeter has a big crush on Dylan. And at some basic levels she thinks he would never go for someone like her. (Whatever that means in her mind) So when Dylan comes on to her in the stolen car, does Skeeter really feel free to say no? Wouldn't she have prefered to wait until he'd got his head together again? I just felt it was a strange scenario for the main couple to get intimately acquainted for the first time.

I loved some of the imagery in the novel. The chop shop scenes. The pink butterflies and leeches. The nasty Indonesians. It was such a shame that they had to be despatched off-story. I expect Royce will live to bring more misery to SDF. Like a lot of these so-so novels the big scene happens in the middle of the story and things just fizzle out from then on. I liked Skeeter. I liked the Hawkins family. And the novel is told from the pov of just about all the gazillion characters. The sex scenes are quite anaemic but most of the killing and torture scenes were also lightweight.

The momentum was somewhat spoiled by the Travis and Gillian sub-plot. To which there was no point other than the set-up for a later novel. I did not like Gillian at all. If she was so super brainy why didn't she publish her theories without her ex-husband? The author painted such a negative picture of Gillian. Yet another stupid loser grateful for sex with a younger good-looking guy which she uses as a strategy to cope with low self-esteem.

Also. The cover is embarassing.

Apart from my minor dissatisfactions. A good enjoyable read.

No comments: