Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Jana DeLeon - Wicked

College student Tara Chatry is certain something bad has happened to her best friend Ethan Campbell. The smart, geeky student has disappeared, and when Tara tries to get the police involved, they dismiss her concerns, convinced Ethan is just another college student off on a bender.
Shaye Archer hasn’t even been back in New Orleans for a full day when Tara knocks on her door, asking for help. Shaye isn’t prepared to jump back into her old job, but knows if she doesn’t help Tara, no one else will. As she works to find Ethan, she discovers that he’s not the only victim. A serial killer is at work, playing a deadly game, and Shaye rushes against the clock to save Ethan before it’s too late

Comment: I've been following this series since the first book was suggested in one of my book clubs and the installments after have all been part of that group's list. This is the most recent one, the fourth in the series featuring Shaye Archer.

In this new book, Shaye and her mother have returned after the scandal that affected their family in the previous book and it seems right after, Shaye is already involved in a new case about a missing college student. 
Shaye is now helping and working for a friend of that student and things get pretty complicated when the recent murders of two other students suddenly are proven to be connected. What will Shaye be able to do not only to help but to avoid more kidnapping and murders?

Well, I did like all books in this series but now that 4 books have been published I need to say I kind of expected a bigger and more obvious fluidity in the dichotomy plot/romance.
Still, overall, this is still as engaging and interesting as when the series started.

In this new book, Shaye is helping a student finding a missing friend. I think the author was very clever in keeping her plots simple. Yes, some details are a bit dramatic and unlikely but then again if no problems existed and if everyone was perfect in the world, why would we have so many issues to be solved and why would we need to think about it in the first place, so the author has material to choose from. I really like how, despite some subjects being quite melodramatic, the characters still act pretty normal and the subjects dealt with are treated as a serious and in a way, quite simplistically, which I actually like a lot.

One thing I keep hoping to see developed was the relationship between Shaye and detective Lamott, something we keep getting hints of. I know and totally understand how things have been shaped up in a pretty slow burn style, considering Shaye's past and her difficult experiences, but I think that it almost looks like a small contradiction how well leveled and sane Shaye is as a person and then it feels like she uses her past as an excuse to not be with Jackson. I'm not saying they shouldn't take time or get to know each other, which they already do. Maybe I'm not expressing myself well but I just think that after 4 books, Shaye and Jackson could be a step ahead in their relationship.

This brings me to the little detail which made me wrinkle my nose about this book. I did like the overall plot and based on that alone, this books would have been as great as the others. The problem was how the book sort of ended. I wouldn't say this is a cliffhanger, but there's one possibility left in the air which is meant to let the reader think about the "to be continued" notion we often see in continuous series but in this case I can't help but think of it as just a means to keep the overall plot going and it feels like a writing tactic and not as if this new information is a fluid part of the story. It feels like an add on just to create some drama and not a seamlessly and vital element of this story.

At the end, I can't say this was a bad book despite my words on what I liked less, but I expected a bit more in terms of details. Nevertheless, I kept reading because the murder investigation was well done, it's probably not the most complex ever, but it was done well enough.
I'm truly hoping the next one is richer in terms of personality and human interaction's development.
Grade: 7/10

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