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Look Live (Caught Dead in Wyoming, Book 5) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Not once does it cross his mind that he might encounter in Wyoming a story that could have international implications. Nor does he ever think that he might become the lead suspect in a murder. All he thinks is that he is coming into Sherman a week ahead of his film crew to relax with his long-time journalist friend, and our series protagonist, Elizabeth Danniher.
Elizabeth and one of her investigative partners, Mike Paycik, are taking Dell to Yellowstone National Park for the weekend. For each of them, this trip promises natural beauty, wild animals, geysers, and relaxation from their daily grind of news reporting. What they actually get, starting with their first highway Critter Jam, is mud, bison pies and sulfur stink. And the only wild animals they encounter are of the human variety – a group of egotistical and viciously snarky internet software engineers with VisageTome, a company trying to move from #2 to #1 in the social media networking game.
Several hours later, Elizabeth and company find themselves housed in the same lodge with these VisageTome cretins, as well as many of their colleagues who are on a team-building retreat. By the end of the evening, Dell is convinced that all is not well in VisageTome Land, particularly from an ethical and business standpoint, and that a major journalistic opportunity has just dropped into his lap. In turn, Elizabeth has discovered that these same people have some very real personal problems facing them, the word “blackmail” being a dead give-away.
From that point on, everywhere Elizabeth, Dell and Mike turn during the weekend, these same six VisageTome employees turn up. And with them come accidents, fights, belligerent drunkenness and a lot more fodder for Dell’s possible story.
After the weekend, back in Sherman and before they can even unpack, the same VisageTome crew shows up at the B&B where Dell is staying. And by the next morning, there is a dead body in Dell’s bed.
In this 5th entry in Patricia McLinn’s Caught Dead in Wyoming series, we find an intricate and intriguing murder plot along with some very nasty subplots, multiple suspects and multiple possible motives.
The events in the storyline actually take place over a period of nine days, with the murder not occurring until the morning of the sixth day. However, as my previous paragraphs detail, those first five days are not empty, meaningless fluff designed to meet a contractual word count.
During those days we are introduced, by way of Elizabeth’s POV, to all the people who will eventually become suspects, victims and heroes in this tale. For these first 5 days, we really don’t know who is going to die, just that, being a murder mystery, someone is. We know who we would love to meet an untimely end, but there is actually no one person with a flashing neon arrow pointing to their head saying “It’s going to be me!”
But once the murder does take place, the focus of the storyline shifts. Elizabeth is an investigative journalist who was also forced out of her DC position by the network. Only 10 months ago, she was exiled to Wyoming for the remainder of her contract, her burgeoning career and her finances destroyed, in a revenge move by the network boss she divorced. And she sees Dell, one of the few friends she has left from her previous life, being forced down a parallel path – shifted out of DC, sent to Wyoming, his professional reputation in danger of being stained by personal involvement with a murder victim.
So, for Elizabeth, by way of Patricia McLinn’s storytelling, it becomes an imperative that she save Dell from the same fate which befell her. But to do so, she will have to shift her focus away from what she has lost in order to realize exactly what she has gained from her forced move to Wyoming – a group of true friends, a job she actually enjoys, a regional area she has a real feel for, and a dog who has adopted her.
McLinn tells both of these sides of the tale well – the murder investigation and the personal growth. One flows into the other and back out again with a smoothness that makes this entry a pleasure to read.
Essentially, I would judge this to be a bridge novel. McLinn has brought Elizabeth to a crossroads. We can only hope that the path chosen for the next entry in the series is not one involving emotional backsliding but one of more character growth, a smidge of personal happiness and a nasty murder mystery to solve.
I like the main characters in the series and I'm sick of mystery books that are thinly disguised romances. However, there is a love triangle and it's annoying. It should have been settled in this book.
McLinn doesn't stretch her books out by including recipes. craft projects, decorating tips, or any of the other fillers that many modern mystery writers use.
Maybe I was expecting too much from a writer who seems to be a romance writer, not a mystery writer. But I thought I had discovered a new mystery writer, liked her first four books but was disappointed with this one. Even Agatha Christie had some that weren't as good as the others so I haven't given up--yet.
BTW, I don't think this author should be compared to Janet Evanovich because she doesn't just rehash the same old plot over and over. And her characters have more depth.
So, why so few stars? Well, I am a Romance reader. I like a Romancer-Mystery book very well, especially when the mystery is as well plotted as this one is.
BUT here the author has two problems that bother me -- FIRST, the mysteries wind up, BUT not the Romance. After five books, we have two men vying for the same woman, and SEVERAL hot kisses. Period. While there is a predictable outcome in most romances, there is ALSO an end -- the gal gets her guy. Here, no such joy. AND I am not buying another 5 books to see if either can make it to second base.
The SECOND issue that I have is one that plagues all mysteries involving small towns and their occupants. They seem to have a murder rate that is WAY too high for their population and location. Furthermore, the towns and areas are sold as beautiful and great places to live.
Well, that may be, but I would not live in any small town that had the same murder rate per person as Detroit.
So. If neither of these issues bothers you, this is an interesting, well-written book with great characters. Go for it.
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