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Veil of Night: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – Jun 28 2011

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (June 28 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345506901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345506900
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 11.4 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #241,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 141 reviews
102 of 112 people found the following review helpful
Sorry to Say, a Snoozer Aug. 12 2010
By JP Reader "Me" - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Starting off with a bang, wedding planner Jaclyn Wilde and Detective Eric Wilder run into each other (literally) at the courthouse one afternoon, then at a bar where they talk long enough to discover their last names are almost the same, and then gosh darn it the attraction is so strong that they find themselves together in bed that night. Oddly enough, for me that was the best part of the book as neither made any kind of excuse or justification for that action other than "Hey, (s)he is really hot and sexy and I wanted to!" I found it kind of refreshing.

There is a morning after scene that made me oh so fondly recall the Linda Howard humor of the past. Eric is lying in bed contemplating how he likes women well enough for the good parts but really wishes he could avoid the complications like having to spend an hour or so the next morning talking and relating because he is a busy man and he just doesn't have time for all that stuff. Jaclyn then pops into the bedroom, hands him a cup of coffee in a To Go cup and takes off for the shower and asks him to make sure to lock the door on the way and oh sorry, she just doesn't have time for a chat because she is a busy woman! At this point in the book, I gave a small grin and settled in for hopefully a really enjoyable Linda Howard ride.

Unfortunately, it went downhill from there. First the characters - there is Eric who is pretty much a Wyatt from the Blair Mallory books wannabee. Detective cop, perfect body, perfect face .. wisecracks on demand. In fact, halfway through the book I kind of renamed him in my head as "Eric/Wyatt." Jaclyn thank God is only 25% as irritating as Blair Mallory ever was in that she at least doesn't spend chapters explaining to the readers how beautiful, intelligent and successful she is - that is left up to Eric/Wyatt to tell us. And tell us. And tell us. So we get a whole lot of "Jaclyn is very pretty and classy and I know she'd never murder anybody but I still have to do my job gosh darn it!" Its a real internal struggle for a guy who has spent a total of one night with the woman.

Then there is a good portion of the book where Jaclyn first explains that as a wedding planner it is her job to give the Bride what she wants (the Grooms are hardly ever mentioned other than as poor saps who should probably run) and then paragraphs of Jaclyn internally mocking the taste of the Bride. There is a more than a little class snobbery in Jaclyn's persona ... Nascar (tacky), Wedding on Grandpa's farm (Hee Haw Hell which somehow translates into a doomed marriage), high society extravaganzas (true love).

As far as relationship development goes, there is the scene I described at the beginning of the book and a really quick chapter summary at the end where Eric/Wyatt explains what will probably happen in the future. Pure tell, little show. Very boring. The ninety percent of the middle of this book is taken up with the internal struggles of the two characters. Jaclyn hates Eric/Wyatt because she is a busy woman (6 weddings in 5 days) and he has the audacity to bother her with questions about a murdered woman. She glares at him. She snaps at him. There is one excruciating scene where the "stress" of being involved in a murder investigation gets to her and she stomps her feet, screams at him, calls him names, shoulder butts him a couple of times and generally acts like a petulant 4 year old who missed her nap. I guess this was supposed to be sexual tension or something but I have to say my response as a reader was more along the line of "Huh?" Are there really men who find that attractive and amusing?

As a couple, these two never go on a date, they don't discuss religious beliefs, movies, hobbies or tastes in music. They don't kiss, hold hands, have fun together or show any affection and the boom! Jaclyn has a near death experience and next thing you know she's decided she loves the guy. Criminy. And then she has the audacity to question the validity of the Hee Haw wedding couple's love?

As far as solving the murder goes - as other reviewers have already mentioned this whole thing was painfully obvious pretty much from the the beginning. So obvious that I spent a good deal of the book thinking that it had to be a red herring and I was in for a surprise. Pfffftttt. Oh well. Eric/Wyatt figures it out pretty quickly too, saves the day, blah blah blah blah blah.

Read at your own risk but if you're hoping for a Linda Howard turn around this isn't it in my opinion.
59 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Linda Howard is back--sort of! Aug. 11 2010
By Shelli - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The other reviews have given you the basic plot. Yes, you will know "who did it" almost immediately after the murder, but the book is fun and fast paced. The hero is a macho cop, a bit travel worn; and, the heroine is smart, sassy and a bit damaged. However, I really liked both of them and their chemistry.

To those who criticize the lightness of the plot, I say: "Be happy the old Linda Howard has come out retirement and remember the plots of her "classic stories" were often predictable, but always sexy and fun." So is her new book.
57 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Huh? Aug. 10 2010
By Mary - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Veil of Night is about a event coordinator named Jacklyn who is having a very busy week with six weddings and five days and a bride from hell to deal with in the meantime. She has a one night stand with a detective and when the bride from hell is killed and Jacklyn is the main suspect, Detective Eric Wilder is called to question her. The book follows the actions of Jacklyn and Eric as they try to figure out what happened to the bride from hell as well as their feelings for each other.

I've been a fan of Ms. Howard for years. Her novels have always been full of intrigue and suspense as well as juicy sex scenes. Veil of Night has all the right points in the suspense part. Although, the murder doesn't happen until half way into the book which makes the first half go by almost painfully. The rest of the book is composed of interrogations and questioning and fits in right with Ms. Howard's style. The romance aspect of the novel is what is really lacking. There is chemistry between the two main characters and one very nice sex scene in the beginning of the novel...but that's it for the rest of the novel. I kept reading and hoping for at least one more sex scene...but no. Very disappointing, but I'll still be waiting to see what comes next.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Not her Best Aug. 30 2010
By crazyreader - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have all of Linda Howard's books. I have a love-hate relationship lately. This one is somewhere in between. it started out great and had a very interesting premise. It was downhill from there. In Linda's good books, you leave with the feeling you know the characters. This was all superficial stuff. you never can quite connect with the characters, and the characters don't quite connect with each other. You can't see any motivation behind any of them. The plot is disjointed with lots of things that seem unrelated. I kept waiting for things to get moving, but nope. Throughout the book you know who did it, so in the end you want to know why. You'll be left still waiting--for the action, for the answers, and most of all, for the romance.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
it's a keeper for me Aug. 19 2010
By Popsicle Toes - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is fun from beginning to end. Linda Howard wrote some of the funniest lines in this book that made me laugh out loud. Some of my favorites that I remember:

From Eric: "She kabobed!"
From Madelyn: "She killed someone? Can't say I'm surprised, that psychopathic little slut. Bless her heart." :)

I've read some of the reviews here and I don't understand the complain about the lack of interaction between Eric and Jacklyn. They are together pretty much on every other page in the book, and when they're not together, they're in each other's mind constantly. Linda Howard did a good job building Eric and Jacklyn's relationship progress into believable story arc, considering the timeline. She shows how Eric learns more and more about Jacklyn and her life from his investigation and interrogation, and liking her more because of it. Linda Howard shows how Jacklyn finally comes to trust Eric in the end through his heroic act. To me, that's more romantic than pages after pages of sex scenes.

I really like how Linda Howard shows that Eric knows quite well just which button to push to aggravate Jacklyn, eventhough they've only met for less than a week. There's one scene when Jacklyn finally loses it, after days of Eric's constant shadowing of her (she views this as lack of trust, Eric's just doing it because he can't stay away from her), and that scene was a LMAO moment for me and Eric.

If anything, the only weak part of this book is the suspense part. I still don't know the reason behind the killing but I may have missed that from reading too fast. Will have to re-read it again at a slower pace.

I would highly recommend this book. It's funny and enjoyable, solid B+ for me.