December 31, 2008
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This is my first Suzanne Brockmann book. I wasn't too impressed. I didn't realize this is Book 10 of the Troubleshooters series. Maybe I should have started at the beginning because I felt there were quite a few background stories that I didn't get.
What was also frustrating is that the backcover of the book is very misleading. The back of the book describes a training operation that takes place in New Hampshire, during which someone on the team goes missing into the clutches of a serial killer. Mark Jenkins (the hero) and Lindsay Fontaine (the heroine) must put their night of passion behind them and work together in a race against time to save their missing colleague.
Sounds good right? Fast paced, suspenseful, racing against time to find the serial killer before he kills his next victim. Nope, the book is NOTHING like it. Here's my rant about what is wrong with this book.
- Most of the action takes place in San Diego, CA. They don't even get to New Hampshire until 200 pages into the book. A 200 page set up is ridiculous.
- There are a TON of characters. While Mark and Lindsay are supposedly the main characters, it never felt like that. The book is all over the place in terms of character development and focus. Everyone had issues but we never got to explore any of them in detail.
- There's Mark, who seemed like he might have some emotional baggage to deal with from his experiences in Afghanistan, during which a close civilian friend of his was murdered. But the rest of the book never mentioned this again, other than mentioning his shoulder injury once in a while. The whole incident at the beginning of the book seemed pointless since the remainder of the book pretends like Mark is just some tough Navy SEAL.
- Then there is Lindsay Fontaine, who is … Asian. WTF. The book never really explored who Lindsay is. We got brief glimpses of her issue with her dad, whose own father is one of the Japanese commanders responsible for many WWII atrocities. But what does that have to do with anything?? And really, Fontaine? When I found out she's Asian, I was seriously thrown a loop. Not to say all Asian characters have to have Asian names but I just thought it was really random and unrealistic for this character to be Asian. She's supposedly an LAPD officer for 6 years. Now she's a tough Troubleshooters member. But she's tiny and petite, and can still kick your ass. Um stereotypical much?
- Then there's the cast of secondary characters, who kind of took over the book.
- Hostage Tracy – who is a girly girl receptionist. Mark has a crush on her. Mark's friend Izzy wants to bang her. Tracy's ex-boyfriend Lyle comes into town. Tracy herself is at the same time ditzy and deep. She's flirty but fragile. *rolls eyes* There's more time spent on Tracy's character development than either Mark's or Lindsay's.
- Love triangle between Dave, Sophia, and Decker. These are employees at Troubleshooters. Sophia has been through some past trauma. She and Decker has a history but now they are fighting their attraction to each other for some reason unexplained. Dave is in love with Sophia. I am rooting for Dave, but given the set up, I think Decker would have to die or something for Sophia to get over him. This subplot took a ridiculous amount of book time.
- The serial killer was barely an afterthought. It didn't even make sense. This guy kidnaps women, forcing them to kill each other to survive. His hostage, Number Five has been surviving for a long time. Tracey is Number 21. So Number Five killed 15 people. Under duress sure, but that woman is going to be messed UP. But then at the end of the book, the FBI was like, oh yes, this serial killer has been killing people all over the country. But he lives in NH, but he's only been in the NH small town for 3 years. WTF. The "hunt" for this serial killer was seriously maybe the last 100 pages, out of a 500 page book!
Argh. The misleading backcover really pissed me off. This is not a suspense book at all! It's more like a chick-lit book trying to be a tough suspense book. Too many characters, too many issues, not enough plot, not enough suspense, not enough actual exploration of the key characters. Maybe I should have read the first 9 books in the series, but I think I will pass. At least this was only $1 at a used book store.