Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." Yogi Berra

Dodge Hanley enjoys his life as a P.I. He has his retirement from the police department and his income as an investigator for his friend, attorney Derek Mitchell.
Dodge has been divorced from Caroline King for thirty years and he still has a strong feeling of longing for her. He was taken by surprise when he received a call from Caroline, asking for his help. She informs him that their daughter, Berry, is being stalked by a madman who almost killed her.
When Dodge arrives in Houston, Texas, Caroline introduces him to Berry as a private investigator, friend. Then, they tell Dodge what prompted their call for help.
Orin Starks, a former co-worker with Berry, entered Berry's home and told her that he had come to kill her. When she yelled for help, her friend, Ben Lofland, who was in the house, ran to her side. Starks seemed surprised and wounded Ben, then ran from the house.
Dodge Hanley is a no nonsense, chain smoking tough guy in the Clint Eastwood-Dirty Harry image. He begins working with a local deputy sheriff, Ski Nyland, an Afghanistan veteran.
As the men search for the stalker/intruder, we learn of Starks going on a killing rampage. He kills a teenage boy who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, then he kills again. The police find the body of another former office worker who had problems with Starks when they worked together.
I wanted to like this novel more but found the characters stereotypical. Other than Ski Nyland, I didn't find any of the characters interesting or truly sympathetic. Starks reactions to Barry's insulting rejection of his advances seemed extreme until the reader gets the full story while Berry, rather than sympathetic comes across as a liar who is out to get ahead at all costs.

The author provided a subplot in the form of flashbacks as we learn of Dodge and Caroline's romance, thirty years prior. While this had some interest, the movement back and forth in time, distracted from the plot. By the time the novel ended, I found that I couldn't care less what happened to the characters or what caused Starks to become what he was.

Sandra Brown is one of the legends in mystery writing and I've enjoyed her past novels but this novel disappointed.
Please see my amazon review and if you enjoy the review, at the end of the review, please indicate that it was helpful.

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