Where to begin. I picked up this book at a local book shop and several of the others written by Scottoline because I liked the blurb on the back covers. The story premise of each standalone seemed enticing.
The covers on every one of the books was well done, a bit generic but that is okay; I could read everything on front and back easily. Each book was not very thick, a good short read, I figured, excellent for the summer months. The books were in paper back format and the set sat attractively on my shelf. All the books were the same trim size.
I chose this particular book to start my read, and perhaps, that wasn’t a wise choice, but I opened the book and began reading. The author’s voice was relaxed and steady in her story-telling and although, a bit slow, I continued reading. I got into the third chapter and had to put the book down.
Unfortunately, I found the characters stereotypical and unbelievable and if the story is to succeed, readers must connect somehow with the Protagonist. This story, without giving away anything, is based around a step-parent’s relationship with her stepchildren and a murder in the family. If it isn’t about this, then the author led me astray in the first three chapters.
As a stepparent, I found it hard to believe in the relationship she had created. It seemed too wishy washy and ooey gooey for my liking. It’s hard work being a stepparent, and stepchildren can be a challenge. I’m not saying the relationship can’t be good, but the way this writer took on that challenge, just made me feel like it was too fairy-tale like and not realistic.
This book was suppose to be about a murder of an ex-husband, yet it seemed to dwell on the relationship between a stepmom and her stepdaughter, or at least in the beginning it had. So was it about the relationship or the murder…? I feel if the author had spread the information about the relationship out over the chapters and events of the plot, then I would have hung in there to finish the read.
Instead, I was left confused as to what the book was really about. Now if she wrote a book solely based on step-parenting, I might have a totally different outlook and interest. But again, from what I could gather, this was supposed to be about a murder mystery of her ex-husband which wasn’t really the grab at the beginning, and I feel the plot failed miserably.
Anyway, I didn’t finish the book even though I tried three times, but the more I read, the more frustrated I became over trying to understand what the plot was about, and, getting close to the Protagonist who just didn’t seem real. This doesn’t happen often, but it turned me off from trying to read the other books, and I ended up donating them.
Now if anyone has read another book from this author and found it really good, let me know or send it to me, I am always open to changing my mind, or giving an author another chance.
For the three chapters plus that I did manage to read, I give this book: