25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2001
If you haven't read either this book or Reese's earlier effort, Topping From Below, read Topping. The plots are nearly identical and the resolutions unsatisfactory in both books (in my opinion), but at least there was characterization and a genuine build-up of suspense in Topping From Below. Here there is none and another reviewer's comment about the erotic encounters in Panic Snap seeming more like a "to do" list than a seduction is right on the money. On the whole, the erotic scenes in Panic Snap were a lot less psychologically compelling, although I have to be grateful that there was significantly less bestiality in Panic Snap (happens to turn my stomach, but that's just my taste) than in the earlier book. Reese needs to come up with a new plot for her next outing (like maybe the obvious choice for the villain NOT being the villain?) as well as a better dictionary and/or editor. "Viscid," for example, is not a flavor, Ms. Reese, but a consistency, so a certain liquid substance frequently swallowed by your heroine might feel viscid to her, but it couldn't "taste viscid". When using $5 words, care in their usage would be appreciated by your more literate readers. But, nonetheless, if there is a third effort, I will probably read it before giving up on Reese for good.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2000
Laura Reese is a truly gifted writer who, unfortunately, may also be a one-trick pony. TOPPING FROM BELOW, her first book, is one of my all time favorite novels. With PANIC SNAP, I see the author trying desperately to recreate the magic of TOPPING FROM BELOW. The plot is almost identical (female gets involved with sadistic lover in order to learn a "secret," then falls in love with him, then exacts her revenge), but the writing isn't nearly as colorful or skillful. James McGuane, PANIC's resident sadist, is quite boring and not nearly as intriguing as TOPPING's antagonist. I hope that Laura Reese abandons the S & M theme in her next novel; otherwise, she'll just be beating a dead horse (pun intended)
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2000
Laura Reese's Panic Snap is a tightly written novel about one woman's search to find her true self.
The main character, Carly Tyler, was left for dead 15 years prior to the novel's opening. Now, after seeing something that stirs her memory, she is in search of information about her former life.
This search takes her to the California wine country, where she meets James McGuane, a man of extreme power and wealth who takes her on a journey of discovery.
Fans of Reese's first novel, Topping From Below, will enjoy Panic Snap, which follows in the same vane. Panic Snap features richer characters which tell an interesting mystery that, although is clear from the start, is a mesmerizing tale to read.
The erotic scenes are not for the faint at heart. These scenes not only feature sex, of the BDSM variety, they show how this effects a person's emotions and feelings, and the relationship of dominance and submission. Although the thread of the scenes are similar to Reese's first novel, she has taken a different enough approach in them that they are not a repeat of the first book.
This book is a wonderfully written follow-up to Topping from Below. I hope to see more from this author.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2000
In keeping with the theme of her first two books, I think Ms. Reese deserves a spanking for basically giving us (in Panic Snap) the same story she gave us in her first book, Topping from Below. Woman seeks answer to mystery, Mystery involves hansome dominant male, woman will manipulate man to get answers, woman falls prey to male strength and does everything he wants, secret is exposed, woman retaliates, male is punished. Haven't read the first book? not necessary its the same as the second. Read the first but not this one? not necessary, nothing new. Ms. Reese you can do better.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2001
In her first book, Laura Reese, captured me. It was with great anticipation that I began reading 'Panic Snap', only to be dissapointed at the numerous similarities as 'Topping from Below'. It's as though she took the exact story line from her previous book and just changed the setting, characters and a few scenes. I was extremely dissapointed, especially at the ending, talk about duplication!! I would probably buy another book of hers, but first I would ask my friends if it was exactly the same as the first two,which wouldn't surprise me one bit.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2002
I bought this book because I thought "Topping from Below" was pretty good. More than anything, it's a ... reminder that lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place. This book is no better than the "men's paperbacks" you can buy with brown paper covers at airports (or so I'm told).
In this book, the heroine (Carly), who was found half dead, terribly beaten, and partially buried as a teenager, comes across a picture in a magazine that jogs her fractured memory. She seeks out the man in the picture (James)and becomes involved with his family, and then more inimately with him. Carly is a fascinated observer, then a willing participant in James' sadomasochistic activities. Eventually, she finds out the secret of her past and all of the bad guys are suitably punished.
The main problem I have with this book is that Laura Reese has so clearly missed the point of what makes dominance and submission such an attractive and intriguing subject. Other than Carly's increasingly unconvincing desire to find out the truth, why either James or Carly continue in their relationship is never examined. The interaction between couples who play with sexual power -- bondage, D&S, S&M, whatever you want to call it -- is far more complex and, yes, titilating than the simple nuts-and-bolts of physical activity. If Reese had truly explored her characters and their relationship (as she did to some extent in "Topping from Below"), she might have written a good novel. As it is, she's provided the weak plot and wooden characters of a slightly exotic porno movie. Spend your money on a video if that's what you want.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2000
Like the reader from San Antonio, TX, I was disappointed by Ms. Reese's second effort. I thoroughly enjoyed Topping From Below and anxiously looked forward to her new book. Unfortunately, I found the themes in Panic too similar to those in Topping. The characters were not as intriguing and the story was not as well developed. While I understood the motivations of the main character, I was left questioning the significance of the supporting characters. I will give Ms. Reese another try in her next endeavor, but I must confess that Panic Snap was a let down.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2000
I agree with the other reviewers; this book didn't have nearly the same strong qualities as "Topping" did. This book does indeed delve into some very kinky, often gross sex; the scenes weren't erotic at all, and it's made clear that Carly was going to do anything necessary to figure out her mysteriously erased past. The twists in the story weren't all that unpredictable, and I expected the author to really make her readers guess and speculate, but that didn't happen. James's character is sinister and has a definite undercurrent, but I found myself completely uncaptivated by him. His creepy relationship with his sister Gina fuels a great deal of the action and plot, but they're so incredibly close, you know they BOTH are responsible somehow. The only character I enjoyed was that of the Mrs. McGuane, who seems to be the only charcter who has genuine feelings, no matter how misguided they may be. One positive aspect of the book: the author's depiction of the California vineyards. I've never visited a vineyard (but I want to), but the descriptions are clear enough for me to see them. I wish I could give more stars, but she's done this plot line once already with great success, and this was no improvement.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2004
I enjoyed this book and thought it was a pretty creative bend on the whole domination/submission s&m type thing. All in all, the "mystery" got a little tedious...Laura Reese has sort of a Dean Koontz writing style wherein you want to reach in and smack the main character for being such a knob about things that are completely obvious to the reader. The erotic bits of this book were absolutely haunting, however...stuff that sticks with you for a long time, be it good or bad! Unfortunately, I read this book prior to reading Ms. Reese's first book (Topping from Below) and ended up sorely disappointed in that book. If you've read Topping from Below, don't bother with this one at all. They're nearly the same book, with the exception being that "M" or "Michael" in Topping From Below is easily, incredibly hate-able. There's a finer line with the male lead character in Panic Snap. He's less hate-able...but still not terrifically like-able.
For folks who want to make the argument about the portrayal of the s&m lifestyle in Ms. Reese's books, I have this to say: No one said these were MANUALS. They're works of FICTION and last time I checked, FICTION didn't have to follow any rules because it's, well, MADE UP!
At any rate, it's an enjoyable read as an erotic novel. As a mystery novel, well, it really leaves a lot to be desired.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2000
After reading this author's first book, I like a lot of other reviewers had high hopes for this next one - but it was not to be! Instead, it was almost identical in plot but not nearly as well executed as Topping. The heroine's in both novels were essentially the same except it was a lot easier for me to identify with/relate to Nora who seemed like a 'real' person than this more artificially concocted Carly. I can't believe how she goes on and on about how many scars she has and how tiny she is - get over it girl and get a life already, we heard you the first time! As in the first book this one also has a MacGuffin - the secondary character who could be the "real killer" here its the sister Gina. It was so obvious! And the erotic scenes to me were nothing like the first book which seemed to slowly but inexorably draw Nora into M's web - here its more like James has a To Do List which he checks off as they go - these scenes were SO BORING I had to skip right through them - hoping,but not finding anything better in the characterizations. I realize this is a novel of erotica but the quality in writing between the first book and this one are like night and day. The ending was completely ridiculous. I never believed James would do as he did. To be fair I didn't like the way Topping ended either but at least it was (semi) believable.
This author needs either a new editor or a new topic. I won't be so eager to buy her next book I'm sorry to say.