Blurb: Only Killing Stops The Pain. . .
Callie Cantrell has only fragmented memories of the car accident that killed her husband and son. One year later, she’s still trying to start over, yet she can’t shake her unease. Especially when former LA cop West Laughlin barges into her life, searching for his young nephew. At first he thinks Callie’s lying about who she is and what she knows. But soon it’s clear that Callie and West are linked by a killer who has bent others to his twisted will. The worst night of Callie’s life was just the beginning of his vengeance. And when her turn comes again there will be no escape. . .
Review: For the most part, this was a pretty good book. The balance between the suspense and the romance was well done and the storyline itself was interesting enough to keep the pages turning.
That said, there were a couple of things that were irritating enough that it dragged me out of what I was reading long enough for me to lose the flow a few times.
The first one wasn’t huge, but considering it got my brain going along that path rather than where the story was supposed to take me was enough to mention it. That is the huge number of personal connections between the various different characters and the possibility that things could have actually played out the way they did. In most cases, the meetings that happened between characters, while hugely coincidental, were mostly justified, even if we didn’t figure out that justification right away. I was able to get my brain past thinking, “Well, that was convenient” most of the time, but the final straw came at the very end. No matter how well explained all the other potential meets came out, the last connection was so not realistic, especially with all the other connections in the story that it kind of killed it for me at that point.
Also, not a huge fan of the bad guy(s) spilling their guts at the end to explain everything in the last 15% of the book. No matter how inventive or creative you get in the rest of the story, I tend to lose a bit of respect for the creativity if that is how things get wrapped up, no matter how you get those character’s to spill. It is taking the easy way out.
Finally, this book hit on one of my peeves in writing. It had a huge, glaring, neon sign contradictory back story for one of the big baddies. I knew I’d read one thing early on and then read something totally different later. At first, I thought maybe what I’d read actually applied to another character, then decided to go dig to make sure I wasn’t completely losing my mind (thank goodness I was reading on my Nexus and could search out terms to find what I was looking for). Sure enough, early on in the book, the bad guy supposedly whacked his abusive dad on the head with a rock and then drown him when he was 9, followed by the mom pretty much wasting away after the death. Then, towards the end, the same character supposedly had that same dad, who was apparently loved by lots and lots of women along with the mother (so not the image of a vicious abusive ass) die of cancer when he was 16 and then kept in contact with the mother until her own death much more recently.
No, neither back story was really critical to the plot of the story, but it was supposed to help explain a bit of the crazy for this particular bad guy, which in the end didn’t actually matter at all and could have been left out entirely. The fact that it was not only not cut, but not caught was seriously annoying as it totally pulled me out of the story to go fact checking. After that, little things bugged me even more, like the personal connections, and I ended up not liking the book as well as I could have, because other than those things, it was a good book.