Saturday, October 1, 2011

Blogging for Books: Shadows on the Sand Book Review

Slow Start, Okay Ending

It took a while but I finally finished Gayle Roper's Shadows on the Sand. I must say before I write my review that I have read books by Gayle Roper before and have enjoyed them so I was really looking forward to her newest mystery.

However, the start to this book was quite slow and confusing. Rather than start with any action we start with our main character, Carrie, working in her cafe talking with her employees and regulars including her "favorite" regular, Greg Barnes. During this time we learn a LOT about everybody including Carrie. A few chapters in we learn that Carrie's dishwasher (as in the employee, not the appliance) is missing. At this point I would assume the action of the book would go into high gear but the fact that her employee is missing seems like just more back story. Something else going on in Carrie's busy life.

The main story line seems to be Carrie's "love" for Greg. She does a "snoopy dance" every time she sees him but he has a traumatic past, having lost his wife and children to a bomb, and doesn't seem to notice Carrie. Since this is a romance, we know that he has noticed Carrie from the second the author switches to Greg's point of view. Their romance seemed to be the most realistic part of the book and the only part I liked. There is less romantic angst of typical books making the characters seem real and I enjoyed that.

The characters seemed realistic and well-rounded it was the plot that was lacking and the mystery part of the book that I didn't like. For one, the mystery seemed to have very little to do with the main character so it felt odd. The author adds a few chapters from the killer's point of view which I'm assuming were meant to frighten but only served to confuse me. It seemed our bad guy was a serial killer but then the bad guy seemed to come from a cult or own a cult. When the dishwasher's body is discovered it seems like a story footnote. "Oh yeah, there's that body/kid we were looking for." The main character ended up in the action at the end but for most of the book she had very little to do with it.

I'm giving the book 3 out of 5 stars because the author did a good job of wrapping everything up at the end and I enjoyed the romance. I can't give more than that because most of the book felt like backstory and kind of all over the place making it hard to keep my interest and want to know what happens.

If you want a light-hearted romance/mystery you would enjoy this book but if you enjoy real suspense as I do this won't be one of your favorites.

The book was provided for me by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group's Blogging for Books program. All opinions are my own.

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