Top critical review
All the potential in the world, but fizzles out
on January 7, 2013
I enjoyed this book very thoroughly until about page 350.
A few things to mention:
1. I thought the plot summary sounded very much like the Sleeping with the Enemy movie, which is why I didn't buy it earlier. For those thinking the same thing, rest assured that it is NOT the same storyline.
2. I liked the format, once I got used to it. You essentially read the background and the trauma at the same time as interspersed episodes showing the recovery and journey towards a happy ending. Both parts of the story were interesting.
This book was riveting at first, but a few things detracted from it.
It started with an excellent pace, which continued to build. Reading it, you KNEW that there was going to be an action-packed, intense climax involving a final confrontation. The problem is that the last 75 pages or so, this energy and pace started to go DOWN, not UP. The suspense just subtly started to wane.
I'm going to try to explain this with no spoilers.
There was a stellar opportunity to create a very dramatic final confrontation. This opportunity was RIGHT THERE, right under the character's nose (or FOOT, rather!)... and not only does this interesting plot opportunity simply pass by.... but the ACTUAL final confrontation has ZERO excitement, pop, suspense, or anything like that. There is hardly even a ghost of a physical or emotional confrontation, and the actual ending felt like it tried to be shocking but wasn't.
For a novel that had moments of high blood pressure for the reader, all signs pointed to it going out with a bang. Absolutely not. This was highly anticlimactic.
Further to this climax disappointment.... the last 25 pages or thereabouts were filled with superfluous content. Adding another boring courtroom transcript at the end of the book (simply to balance the one at the beginning of the book, which was equally unnecessary?) added absolutely nothing to the story that we didn't already know, except a few details to make the story LESS harrowing or exciting. It was entirely superfluous and I would have removed it entirely if I edited this book.
The final outrage is that at the very end of the book the happy ending is hammered home (with redundancy, because we already KNEW that things were ending positively, so it's overkill) AND, the author brings in extraneous information about an unimportant character (just so we have happy endings all around). This is the year 2013. You cannot in all good conscience name a lesbian couple androgynous names like Sam and Jo. Seriously. How could your editor not catch this.
I feel very ripped off, as this novel had ALL the potential and makings for a great thriller and zipped along with pace and excitement for the bulk of the book, but somewhere along the way lost energy and started to fizzle.
The real problem too is that a good editor or good pre-readers should have caught all of this. This is really a waste of a great idea and a potentially excellent book. I wish the author had given it just a bit more time at the end to do her own work justice.