Thursday, 29 December 2011

Heart of Ice

I know that you're all thinking that I either fell off the edge of the earth or ate so much turkey that I was in a tryptophan induced stupor for the past 10 days.  It's been a week and a half since I last posted but things like Christmas and family events kind of took a front seat ... as they should! 

I hope that everyone had a lovely holiday with their family and friends!  We had a Christmas dinner at my parents' cottage with 22 of my family members, loads of food, tonnes of kids and 4 canines thrown into the mess -- welcome to my typical family Christmas! 

To top off our boisterous get together my parents announced that they were taking their grandchildren (and their daughters & spouses) to Great Wolf Lodge for 2 days ... and we were leaving on December 27th!! (thankfully all of us parents had a heads up beforehand).  Yup.  All 17 of us enjoying some waterslides, wave pools, crafts and buffet eating.  Even my dear mother got her fine self down a waterslide.  As she made the last turn in the slide she was greeted by her grandchildren clapping and cheering her on! Way to go, Nanny!!

Needless to say the 9 kids and 8 adults took full advantage of all that GWL had to offer.  I luuurved the water slides and my 12 year old was in his own personal nirvana when he got to the supper buffet and loaded up (I'm talking a PILE of ribs and ice cream).  As a child with a peanut allergy buffet eating is pretty much restricted to places like Disney and GWL who understand food allergies.  Needless to say he definitely got his money's worth!  I won't even mention how my 10 year old's eyes lit up at the sight of the cereal bar at the breakfast buffet.  Fruit Loops, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms, oh MY!  I'll leave all that kind of food to the kids.  I'll stick with my prime rib and baked potato bar!!

There's also something about body surfing in a wave pool, being in a bikini and looking outside at the falling snow.  Yes, we here in southern Ontario FINALLY have snow!  I know this can be hard for some non-Canadians to believe but we don't get nearly as much snow as some people think.  I'm pretty sure people in the north eastern States, Michigan and other northern States get much more snow than we do in my neck of the woods!

But I digress, we've had a wonderful holiday so far and are looking forward to hosting 4 families for New Years.  Nothing like filling a week with three major get togethers!  I have one wonderful appetizer that I made for Christmas (and shhh, will make again for New Years) that I will be posting soon.  Until then, here's a book review of a suspense novel that I read last week. 

Wishing you and yours a very happy, healthy and safe New Year!!

Author: Gregg Olsen
Genre: Suspense/Mystery
Type: Paperback
Pages: 460
First Published: 2009
First Line: "Hauling a dead body around isn't easy."
Synopsis: Mandy Crawford is a young and very pregnant woman who suddenly goes missing from her small Washington state town.  Sheriff Emily Kenyon (and most of the small town) suspect her husband, the local car dealer who has expensive tastes but no finesse with his fellow citizens.
While Sheriff Kenyon tries to figure out where and why Mandy disappeared, her daughter Jenna is dealing with a serious situation of her own.   A few of her sorority sisters have been murdered and it's not long before she realizes that she may be the killer's real target.

My Thoughts:  This was just a moderately OK read.  I had picked it up at the library hoping to find a new suspense author but sadly this book just didn't grab me.  I think it started from the get-go.  The pace was slow and the addition of the sorority killer seemed forced and, quite frankly, odd.    
It also didn't help that the characters were a little boring and unoriginal.  The sorority sisters were all portrayed as the cliched airhead and Emily didn't seem like a believable sherriff and I never felt like I really got to know her well.  That may be because this is the third book in the series (something that I wasn't aware when I started  the book).  Emily just seemed too juvenile and tended to worry too much about her relationship with her boyfriend -- Should she marry him?  Would her 20-something daughter be OK with the marriage?  Yes, I said 20-something (and even when Jenna gave her blessing it was still a bit to-do in Emily's mind).  Just commit to him already!!  You're a 40 year old woman, take the next step.  That kind of relationship banter took away from the momentum of the story which was slow to begin with.

Another issue I have is that the description at the back of the book didn't accurately describe the book.   I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover but I'd at least like to know a little of what I'm getting before I start reading.  The description on the book focused much more on the sorority killer when the missing pregnant woman (the storyline that I liked much more) wasn't even mentioned.  I kept rereading the back cover because I was sure I was reading a totally different book until sorority sisters started being murdered.

The reasoning behind why the killer was murdering sorority girls was too far-fetched and unbelievable for me.  Another thing that I found that reached the outer edge of believability is how many serial killers can be connected to one woman's family. Emily lives in a very small town and yet she's come in contact with 3 serial killers? Unlikely but not the first time a little creative licence has been taken by an author to try to keep storylines going in a book series.

Even though I came into this series in the middle (something I don't love doing) I will say that the author made it easy to get to know the relationships between the characters without giving too much of previous books away or spoon feeding me too many details.

Warning: I also found the descriptions of the killer's childhood much more graphic than I was expecting.

Overall, I wasn't impressed with this book.  The pace was slow, the characters were underdeveloped and storyline was too unbelievable. 

My Rating: 2.5/5


TheBookGirl said...

Wow, sounds like you have been having action packed lovely that you get to spend extended time with your whole family.

As to the book, I know what you mean about being frustrated when a "blurb" doesn't adequately portray what the book is about, or what the tone is...I don't want to know too much either, but like you, I'd like to have a vague idea of what I'm in for.

Hope you have a wonderful, and restful New Year's!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

BookGirl -- while time with my extended family is loud and sometimes crazy I realize how lucky I am to have time with them all. :)

I agree with your book blurb comment. There's a fine balance between giving the reader an idea of what a book is about and giving too much away. I know that I sometimes have a hard time writing a synopsis of a book. :s

Related Posts with Thumbnails