Just reactions to books I read. I don't really summarize the book's content, because how hard is it to click on the cover and read the description?
So I just write my response.
This book was a slog. I've read a lot of overstuffed stories, but this might be there right at the top of them.
I've read Garwood books that move along at a nice clip. This one doesn't. Every introduction to every main character is endless. Every conversation is full of non-essential information and there's no sparkle in the dialogue, nothing that feels like classic Garwood. I don't even miss the historical part of it; I love suspense novels. This was about as thrilling as trudging through deep mud.
That, and the bad guy was a dead giveaway, simply because of the writing style. The first time his name popped up in the story, his full name was used in an unnatural way in dialogue. The second time he popped up in the story (with another name) again, the way it came out was like waving a red flag. There was no reason to single the person out EXCEPT that it would allow the person to be inserted into the story as a player. So despite the red herrings thrown in, there was never any twist or any surprise. Just really awkward writing that gave away the answer to the mystery long before any real clues were dropped.
There were also simply too many essential emotional bits TOLD to us later -- and not even from the hero or heroine's point of view. The first was the very long description of a suspect shooting that the hero was involved in, a shooting that was recounted in his boss's office later. A prologue would have been a thousand times more effective. Then the romantic resolution and the hero's about-face regarding the relationship (along with some other scenes that could have been deliciously angsty) were relayed by the heroine's brother to a friend instead of letting us see it happen and letting us feel the hero and heroine's emotions.
Finally, the chemistry between the two leads was non-existent. It's too bad, because a nice compelling romance might have saved the book from being such a long haul. But there was just nothing.
A terrible disappointment on both the romance and suspense fronts.