Thursday, 17 January 2008

Second Sight by Amanda Quick

What can I say? The written equivalent of muzak. It exists, its inoffensive and for a while it permeated my brain. I felt absolutely no emotions of any kind while reading it. No enjoyment, my ears didn't glow. Neither did I throw it at the wall. Obviously I didn't hate it either. What I did feel was security. Total security. This book is formula writing at its most mundane.

Amanda Quick used to write lovely romances about fairly interesting couples. I find it hard to believe it's the same person writing this wordy, boring dross. Has she franchised her name out to various anonymous authors who are kept on a very tight chain by the publishing house? What's with this crummy theme of mesmerism that keeps appearing in novel after novel. Is she grateful to the hypnotist who enabled her to give up smoking? Has her husband left her after 50 years of marriage?

Anyway. Second Sight isn't bad. Other than it makes no sense. But it is shoddily plotted. Seeing how the much vaunted psychic abilities of the hero completely desert him during possibly the only crucial moment in the novel.

At least the heroine, Venetia, doesn't dress as weird nor is she as nit-pickingly argumentative as some of Quicks previous lead females. But she does stay true to form in that she is a 28-yo who behaves like a 58-yo.

One of the things that lets the story down is the frequent references to the 'police.' In 19 century London? I don't think so.

I turned over page after page convinced that soon Something Would Happen. And it does. But not until about page 378 of a 400 page novel. The middle and the end of this story are basically squeezed into the final two, still uninteresting, chapters. Cunningly. The first chapter is actually quite good. With the start of the relationship between the main couple and the start of the mystery. But then nothing happens for chapter after chapter. I'm not even sure what the original formula was supposed to do to young Mr Stillings. Though I did get that he needed the box to find the cure to the slow-acting poison. Couldn't Rosalind Flemming tell that her lover 'old Lord Ackroyd' was actually a much younger man? Wouldn't he have made a far more suitable blackmail victim? It still didn't make sense that she totally hated Venetia.

For diehard fans. Plus those readers who need a short rest from Lora Leigh's bump and grind. And get it from a library. Don't bother to buy.

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