Saturday, January 8, 2011

Good Morning Killer - April Smith

FBI Special Agent Ana Grey returns in this complex, involving thriller about a dedicated officer's search for a serial rapist that proceeds alongside her passionate and obsessive love affair with a fellow cop, Santa Monica detective Andrew Berringer. Before their relationship culminates in a violent episode that leaves him clinging for life and her accused of attempted murder, the deviant who brutalized the teenage girl Ana has taken into her heart and under her wing has found another victim, and Ana's efforts to stop him before he kills her drive Smith's stunning narrative to a shocking denouement. But the author has additional surprises in store for the reader that involve Andrew's motivations for escalating their passion--to keep Ana from reopening a closed case involving bank robbery, fraud, and deception, which will lead her to reevaluate the man, and the obsession, that has brought her to the brink of personal and professional oblivion.

I can't resist a good thriller, especially with a female as the male lead so when I read a review of this one somewhere I decided to pick it up. This is the second book in a series and some readers might feel more comfortable starting at the beginning, it didn't bother me too much though so if you want to read it as standalone I think that's ok.

I did have a problem with the story though. The mystery in itself did not sound very intriguing to me. The author goes on and on about the parents and about the victim but they never seemed that interesting to me and I must admit I had some problems keeping focused in the beginning.

Besides to the mystery of who kidnapped the story pays close attention to who Ana Grey is and her relationship with a fellow officer. Ana is not exactly a likeable person; she is tough, direct to the point of rudeness and bitter about her job, colleagues and life. Her relationship with Andrew is not exactly a nice one either as they seem to spend a most of time attacking each other verbally.

However when the kidnapped girl is found Ana establishes a connection with her and tries to help her come to terms with what happened to her. That's the first occasion where we can actually feel some sympathy for her and what kept me reading despite feeling that her life was becoming a train wreck.

Ana is obsessive about her job and keeps working on an old case in which she first worked with Andrew. She realises that he has been lying to her about their relationship and the new clues she finds about the old case lead her to question him. The confrontation between them is ugly and what happens next is even uglier. At this point I actually felt we were getting to much info on Ana Grey and not enough on the kidnapping plot which made it a bit unbalanced. In the end I felt the conclusions about the old case made for a stronger ending than the kidnapping resolution with which we had started the story.

Although I think Ana became a better person at the end, or at least is on the right path, I felt that she is a very damaged character both by her actions and what others have put her through and I am not sure what will happen to her in the future. There is a book nº 3 out but the violence I saw in Ana and towards her in this one didn't exactly put me in the mood to pick it up.

Grade: 3/5

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