Friday, December 20, 2019

Jeff Abbott - A Kiss Gone Bad

In a Gulf Coast Texas town, beach-bum-turned-judge Whit Mosley is called to a yacht where the son of a senator lies dead. Was it suicide? Or did an obsessed killer use the dead man as a pawn in a twisted game? 
Whit and Detective Claudia Salazar expose a nest of drug lords and power-hungry sharks, unearthing a lethal trail of deceit that lies buried in the icy recesses of the human heart. 

Comment: This book was gifted to me in my last birthday. I had heard of the author before but was never curious enough to try one of his book nor did I know a lot about his work. 
This is a suspense book centered on a crime investigation with main characters who work for and around the police force in a small city in Texas.

This story starts with the investigation of a man's death. He was a son of the town who went away and did porno movies but now he was back to know more about what happened to his missing brother and, perhaps, do a "normal" movie about that story.
Whitman Mosley is the judge responsible for the investigation and he feels the pressure not only because he is a new judge and the next election is about to happen and he barely campaigns. Claudia Salazar is the police officer who investigates the case, at least until her superior starts to put limits on the things she can do. With a multitude of secondary characters, sudden twists and unknown motives, can Whit and Claudia connect the dots to discover the truth?

Being this my first book by the author, I thought going into it that a similar author would be James Patterson or alike authors so, not the usual genre I look for, but also something I tend to enjoy from time to time. By the blurb I supposed maybe a hint of romantic content might be o the page but I was not actively hoping it would be a center point in the story.

The author's style is very laid back, I felt. There wasn't a lot of psychological content that would give me the sense there would be too many hidden things between the lines and the villain was what I expected from this story: someone with problems who acted on his wants without being concerned.
The detail that grabbed my attention the most about the writing style is that there seemed to be quite an intention in characterizing the main characters by letting us know about their friends, their families, their lives so that we could empathize with them but it all felt rather superficial, as if it was just there. I don't think any of these things really made me get to know the characters better besides the obvious.

Since the writing style seemed to be a little too fast, as if the author wanted to present information as quickly or as continuously as possible, some things felt like they were not developed enough to add a layer of complexity to the story. This feeling never stopped for me, not even when some new plot twists or discoveries were happening so this is an easy story to read but not as engaging or exciting and when the final surprises are told, I think some were quite clever but I wasn't left particularly amazed by anything.

The main characters are frontal, speak their minds, some have hidden agendas which I thought weren't that vital to be kept quite anyway so they all seemed rather distanced from me, it was difficult to care about them besides the basic feelings of wanting the good guys to do well and the villain to be found guilty. 
Whit is the main character, he seems intelligent and someone we would like to see succeed but to be honest, his constant sexual thoughts of (or references to) his young stepmother and other women in the story, his forced lack of care for conventions all made him seem like he had to be a cool, unflappable guy but to me he was simply a caricature and rather annoying at times because of his look on things.

Claudia is the other investigator and she could be done in a better way but her backstory was not treated in a way I'd consider addictive to make me want to keep reading just to see what happens with her character arc. 
Some of the other secondary characters were not strongly depicted and that means that I often felt they could be anyone and their roles, along with the often change of focus on what was going on with the plot, turned this into a story with things all over the place.

It was good to try a new author but unless I'm given another book or I find one by mr Abbott at the library, I don't think I'll actively try to read something by him again.
Grade: 6/10

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