Friday, August 5, 2016

Traces of Guilt: A Review

In the opening scene, old friends Ann Falcon and Josh Thane reunite, one single, the other married.  An overly nice, polite conversation lets us know that nothing is really happening in this story, at least nothing of interest between them. As we meander through a thinly veiled explanation of Ann’s backstory as a retired cop, and Josh’s backstory as a heartbroken bachelor, eventually we learn that Ann has come to ask a favor. She wants Josh to help a girl, a former crush of his. The plot centers on a tragedy that this girl suffered, involving several other people, but sadly, I could not bring myself to care. The story lacked a sense of immediacy, and fell into a series of drawn-out conversations between people who had no vested interest in how the story ended. If there was a protagonist and antagonist, I never found either; the people in the story seemed like carbon copies of each other.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the patience to finish the book all the way through.  The writing style kept getting in the way of what meager story line there was. Ms. Henderson left nothing to the imagination, explaining every character’s thoughts, and how they came to them in laborious detail.  I regret that I cannot give this book what its cover suggests it deserves. Billed as a bestselling author, Dee Henderson did not sell me. Fraught with wordiness, and conversations that are so unbelievably contrived, I’m surprised any editor let this one slip through.
(In Ms. Henderson's defense I had similar feelings halfway through Victor Hugo's War and Peace.)
I’ve never written a review like this one, and I hope I never have to again. Please keep books like this out of the public’s hands.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in return for my honest opinion.

No comments: