We have a bookcase at work in the break room. One of those “take a book, leave a book” kind of deals. Needless to say it’s impossible for me to resist taking a book when I see one that might remotely interest me. As you know from reading my blog, dear reader, it doesn’t take much to interest me when it comes to books. For that reason, I tend to sometimes pick a dud. It’s bound to happen and for all I know, it could be another person’s most favorite book of all time. Hey, who am I to judge – I’m currently waiting for the next Cassandra Clare novel to finish out The Mortal Instrument’s series.
Sadly, I fear that this most recent selection was a dud. I picked up Kill and Tell by Linda Howard thinking it would be a simple conspiracy/murder/suspense book, the kind you read in a day and are simply entertained. It definitely started off like that with Dexter Whitlaw being chased through the French Quarter of New Orleans. The ominous murder of not only Dexter Whitlaw but also a second man, one whom Dexter knew and respected by unknown assailants made me read on.
Enter the total alpha male, ladies man, Southern gentleman, Marc, who just happens to be the detective assigned to the Whitlaw murder case. Howard first presented him as very smooth operator which then led to Whitlaw’s family. I should have known when Karen was presented that she was a stereotypical woman who didn’t really need a man because she wasn’t sure where she was heading in life and thought she was just fine without one. I should have stopped reading there but I’m stubborn and I wanted to find out who stepped into the car after the murder.
When Marc and Karen finally meet, it really felt creepy. Marc wanted to make her his next conquest. I don’t really believe in love at first sight. I think I believe in lust at first sight and this is what I was reading. I did not like the whole mentality of manipulation that Marc took on while he was “comforting” Karen and I felt that there were times when I wanted to kick him in the shin for being so chauvinistic as he “played his cards right.” Not to mention, I almost threw up a little at the various trashy romance passages that I so was not expecting to be there when I picked up the book.
The two fall desperately in love after a night of wild abandon (and as one of the Goodreads reviewers called it “Monkey sex”) followed by Karen running away from this “perfect” man only to find out that she’s in danger. It felt rushed and a little annoying because she got home and the way that the ominous “they” found her was just so plain. I wanted it to be much more mysterious and full of intrigue but as soon as one of the big baddies was introduced, you knew.
Some of the descriptions of the scenery were nice and she did a great job of explaining humidity and high temps. The characters were a little flat and not as developed as I like, even in my “throw away” books. The real kicker for me that really made me kind of annoyed with this book was the discovery that it was the first in a series. A series about a character you only meet in the last two pages of the book. When I heard it was a series, I thought it was a series about Marc and Karen but, no! It’s a series about the son of a dead CIA operative. Really? Usually the first book of a series is supposed to introduce the main character. Not just give him a glorified cameo in which he saves the main characters of the book. I really had a hard time with this one. However, it’s one more book toward my 2014 goal, which after a semester of grad school is WAY off course. Another plus is that I can bring it back to the bookshelf at work and let someone else enjoy it.
On to finish the first book based off the tv show Castle…hopefully this one will be a little more mystery and a lot less heaving and bulging…