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Lowcountry Bribe: 1 (A Carolina Slade Mystery) Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Within the first quarter of the book, I itched to slap some backbone into the main character--Carolina Slade. I quickly became very impatient with her. Not only did she come across as weak but also inconsistent. At times she talked a strong game, but her actions and decisions never supported the talk, leaving the impression of a dependent woman who left the thinking to the men. At the end of the book, Slade's (as she's referred to in the book) best friend even tells her to take a break from men and focus on herself. When I read that I wondered if the author's portrayal of Slade was intentional. Perhaps the rest of the books in the series will show her development into a dependent, wholly functioning character.
I also had a problem with some of the scenes in the book. I eventually labeled them as mystery scenes because I couldn't understand why they had earned a place in the story. For example, in one scene, an agent shows up at Slade's office to question her about her involvement with another agent. She leaves her office during the questioning to take a restroom break and her nemesis and his brother show up outside the women's bathroom. Why?
And the last problem was unfulfilled promises. Here's an example. Slade makes up her mind to do her own investigation into fraudulent activity and what's the first thing she does...throws a temper tantrum to force another character to take the lead on the investigation. Another example is the car accident(s). We never learn who orchestrated them and why. The reader is left to suspect the two bad guys but since almost every man in the story is bad news, it could have been any number of people. I will admit though that it is quite possible that in my haste to reach "the end," I missed that closure.
As I stated earlier, I wish I could recommend this book because I just love the author's newsletters and her web site but (extended shoulder shrug with a scrunched up face)...
Like a number of reviewers out here, I, too, have followed the birthing process of this new mystery series by C Hope Clark from her exceptionally helpful and generous Funds For Writers newsletters. (If you aren't a subscriber, consider taking a look. They are loaded with valuable writer information.)
The cliché simply cannot be avoided here. I read this in two sittings, getting up to use eye drops for my aching eyes around 3:00 a.m. so that I could continue to read until 5:00 a.m.
This debut novel by Ms Clark is THAT compelling. Protagonist Carolina Slade must constantly do battle against US governmental bureaucrats, a pig for a husband, a douche bag of a boss, condescending federal agents and scumbag clients to get someone to handle the illegal bribe situation she gets offered.
And then her kids and family dog get pulled into the whole illegal mess.
There is nothing flat about Carolina Slade. She can feel the angst and compassion for a dead office worker, but isn't about to lay down before sniping female office workers, yet is a working professional who knows the work has to get done in spite of it all. And the best part of it--she is a devoted mom. Not an easy formula.
As I read, I kept asking myself: How much more turmoil and terror can Ms Clark fling at Carolina Slade? The answer is: C. Hope Clark flings it right up to the end, and she spares us nothing in the final storm-chased, bloody, pig-crap, and muddy revelation. Author! Author!
The sexual tension between Slade and federal-agent-on-the-case Wayne Largo is skillfully developed throughout the novel in this first in the series story, and the reader just knows there are some mighty interesting times to come in book No. 2!
Seal that deal on the second in the series, and tell Bell Bridge to warm up those printing presses.
Your newly-acquired adoring fans are waiting--most eagerly.