Saturday, 10 May 2008

Dead Reckoning by Linda Castillo

Don't bother with this one. Too much dumb crime plot. Only about 5 pages of romance. The heroine was rich, willful, self-obsessed before she was brutalised. And she continued rich, willful, self-obsessed ...and ineffectually vengeful after that nasty incident.

I need to point out that as an experienced reader once I realised what was happening, I did not read the parts of the plot written in italics. But I certainly recognised it for what is was...'brutalisation and gore' written solely for entertainment purposes.

It's not often I read a heroine who is so obviously disliked by the author that wrote her. Cripes! The pain Kate is subjected to is ...almost cartoonish. A couple of times I also thought she had some TSTL moments. Like when she doesn't connect the capital case to her stalker. Like when she actually goes to visit one of the main suspects in the case completely alone.

The plot itself is also lame-ass. Kate works all hours of the week and weekend on an open and shut capital case. Why? How would she have coped with a more problemmatic trial? Nearly all the baddies die when justice would have been better served by jailing them forevah. The denouement scene is totally laughable. Rooks doesn't try to kill Kate in Ferguson's home. No he takes her for a scenic tour of his very own high-rise. Up up to the nth floor and even then he can't kill a badly-injured unarmed defenceless female before the hero arrives and pumps about a gazillion bullets into him. The numbers involved in the 'peasant insurance' murders didn't add up. Rooks had over 400 convenience stores. That's a retail empire. He could have sold all the stores for more than the $10 mil he got for the murders. And oh. He still had cash to invest in a prestigious high-rise.

So many strands were left hanging. The heroine's relationship with her parents. They were right. The incident was due to Kate. She should feel guilty. But seeking a vengeance that she then couldn't go through with...what a waste of her years. And I wondered. Did she like her experience with low-life so much that she decided on a career that brought her into daily contact with that type of person?

The romance was also ludicrous. There was just no relationship development. The main couple hardly spent any time together. One minute she was trying to get him fired from the job, the next he turns out to be the first guy she humps in over 11 years.

It read like a 'by-the-numbers' series crime novella. Not worth the effort for romance fans.

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