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Too Close to Home (Women of Justice Series #1) Paperback – April 1, 2010
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Readers who enjoy romantic suspense authors Suzanne Brockmann and Sandra Brown but who prefer their thrills with a little more conscience and a lot less sex will be thrilled with Eason's new series opener. - Library Journal --Library Journal
From the Inside Flap
EXCERPT FROM CATALOGHis phone buzzed and he sighed, pulling it out. Sam watched the color drain from his face. Every muscle in him seemed to go rigid as his throat worked."Connor? Connor, what's wrong?"W W WConnor felt like he couldn't breathe. Samantha's voice came from a distance, muffled, garbled, like she was underwater and trying to talk to him. He gasped for air and shoved the phone at her.She took it."Oh no. Oh no. Connor, get to her school. She's in school, right?"And the text message.DO YOU KNOW WHERE JENNA IS?He shook, shuddered as he desperately tried to gain control. Fear for Jenna nearly strangled him."Connor! Get it together and let's go!"He cranked the car. Fury sizzled through him. "If that creep so much as lays a finger on her . . ."Samantha had her phone out, dialing. "Is she answering?" He put his siren on. Swerved around the next curve."It's ringing.""Why isn't she answering?" he shouted.Samantha snapped her phone shut. "Voice mail."He had to think. "Call the school. She . . . she won't answer her phone if she's in school. She'll have it on vibrate." Hope leaped within. He yanked the steering wheel to careen around a car whose driver had slammed on brakes.Samantha grabbed the dash. He didn't care. All he could think about was Jenna in the hands of a psycho killer. He started praying.
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"Too Close To Home" was action packed from beginning to end with amazing characters to keep you hooked from the first page until the very last. From FBI Agents, SLED Detectives to Regular Law Enforcement, there was never a shortage of individuals willing to lay down there lives for someone else. There were a few scenes that I wish I could erase, just due to the victims lives that were lost, but I know that as in real life- the story wouldn't be the way it was without it.
The only issue that I found with this novel was the way it changed from one person's view to another without warning. There was a few different times that I have to stop, reread, and begin again because I couldn't figure out who was supposed to be talking. However, even with all of these different issues, this story still deserved a five! I couldn't put it down!
"What was it with women and the careers they picked these days?"
Apparently our Romeo is shocked to find out that today's Juliet might be employed as a medical examiner or an FBI computer specialist. I was STUNNED to see this was written in 2010 and not 1960. I'm not sure how making a modern day male cop think like a Neanderthal is romantic.
Equally outdated are the computer references. They simply don't match real life. It's as if the author in 2010 was many years behind in computer knowledge and teen use of computers. Before the trolls descend, let me explain that I have worked in high schools for three decades and am in direct contact with hundreds of teens per year. Teens don't download chat records. Teens in 2010 would have chat messages on their phone, on Facebook (6 years old when this book was written) or in their email. They could delete the messages, but even that would be highly unusual behavior. PARENTS of misbehaving teens and SPOUSES who worry about a partner cheating are the ones who download conversations.
I felt like the author wanted to lecture readers who were parents not to let them have computers in their bedrooms. This was already old news in 2010. Having the location of the computers be an element of the plot was forced given that ALL the girls had been lured away from their homes, regardless of where the computer was.
In another very odd example, one of the teen victims saves an email to a special file on her computer after hiding all the references to who the email was from. This was very contrived. You would either keep the whole message, delete it all, or download it to your secret spot. The ONLY reason to download a doctored version is to not give away the plot info even earlier in the book.
There are more editing errors than I would expect for a book of this cost, but the biggest issue is that if this is really supposed to be a mystery, the author shouldn't be lobbing clues like hand grenades in the first 10% of the book.
It seemed extremely ironic that our police detective was aware of his failings as a dad and felt that he needed to catch the predator so his daughter didn't become a victim. Wouldn't addressing the relationship issues promptly have been a smart move???
“Could you do serious praying for Jenna, Connor’s daughter?”
“She’s in trouble? I’ll start now.”
I'm glad the description of this book has been updated to include a Christian category. I was surprised to have two different characters talking about church in the first 7% of the book and that in the middle of a crime scene a discussion about the need to be religious became an issue. Fair enough. There are many of people who complain about sexual content when there isn't enough warning in the book summaries.
I'm pleased for the author that there is a market for this novel. It certainly wasn't me, and I would suggest that anyone who isn't sure, should download a sample prior to purchasing.
In this book, someone is kidnapping and killing teenaged girls. When and if found, the girls usually show signs of having given birth, despite not having been pregnant before they were snatched. It is up to detectives Conner and West, with the help of computer expert Samantha Cash, to find the killer. Conner has an strained relationship with his teenage daughter Jenna, and the relationship has been strained since Jenna's mother died.
This book started off slow to me. I was halfway through the book before there was some real action. Once the action started, though, it continued until the end of the book for the most part.
Perhaps the first part of the book was meant for character development, but none of the characters are that well developed. There are issues with some characterizations, as well. For instance, in the beginning of the book, Jenna was pretty naïve and somewhat simpleminded, considering her knowledge of the kidnapping and murders. Towards the end of the book, though, she became uncharacteristically resourceful and smart.
Be aware that this is Christian fiction. Just about everyone in the book is a believer except for Connor and his daughter. As a result, the other characters frequently remind Connor of his need for Christ from the beginning to the end of the book.
Much of the book is predictable. Readers will likely figure out who the killer is well before the end of the book. Still, getting there is somewhat interesting once the action begins. Nevertheless, I did not care for how the author dealt with the killer at the end of the book.
Additionally, the light romance aspect of the book seemed unnecessary and unimportant for the rest of the story. This is a book in a series, though, so maybe the romance is further developed in later books.
The epilogue really had nothing to do with the story either. It was instead a clear setup for a later book in the series involving one of the minor characters in this book. However, after reading this one, I have no intentions of reading any of the other books in the series.
I struggled with what rating to give this book. It could have been worse, but it could have been a lot better, too. I wish that there were half stars in the ratings system. This one would get a 2.5.
Note: this review was originally posted on goodreads.com