Monday, September 17, 2007

Dead Right - Brenda Novak

I started this book with a great deal of anxiety and expectations. I knew Madeline wants to discover what happened to her father but I really didn't want her to do that. I wanted her to forget about the whole thing because her family has already suffered so much and she doesn't even realise that.

The people of Stillwater, Mississippi, are asking questions about murder. Again.

Twenty years ago, Madeline Barker’s father disappeared. Despite what everyone else thinks, she’s convinced her stepfamily had nothing to do with it. But the discovery of his car proves he didn’t just drive away. Worse, the police find something in his trunk that says there’s more to this case than murder.

With no other recourse, Madeline decides to hire a private investigator—even if the cops don’t like it. Even if her family doesn’t like it. But when PI Hunter Solozano begins to uncover some shocking evidence, someone in Stillwater is determined to put a stop to Madeline’s search for the truth. And that means putting a stop to her. Permanently.

Well I thought it started to be a bit unbelievable the way that Madeline behaved. With every strange reaction her family members have had, even her aunt - who in previous books was set against her stepbrother - tells her to drop it and she never finds any of that weird? I could understand the need she had to know what happened in the past but with all the suspicions and the suspicious behaviour that had been happening for years I think she should have sat her family down and have an honest talk. She never even read her mother's diaries or the police report on Clay's arrest that night...

I had mixed feelings about the PI she hired. He had his own parcel of problems but he feels immediately attracted to Madeline and he immediately smells something fishy. He seemed too good to be true in the way that he immediately reaches all the right conclusions and even makes Clay trust him with the secret. It was odd also that Madeline only having been involved in a relationship with Kirk rushes to one with a total stranger.

Another thing that really bothered me was that in this book she totally explores the sexual abuse angle. Much more than in the previous books, it upset me and I don't think it was really necessary. Besides it had never been mentioned that someone else was involved in Barker's actions, it seemed a bit artificial. Just to create an antagonist. I think I would have prefered if the suspense continued in a more rational way and with less graphic details. And the way it ended I felt there was really no closure for them. I think I needed a final scene with some cronfontation between them and their ghosts but Clay was the only one who addressed what really happened that night... since Grace was the true victim it seemed more right to me to have talk to Madeline about it.

Grade: I considered giving it a C+ but since I enjoyed the other 2 books so much I'm going for a B- instead.

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