Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hand In Glove - Anne Stuart

Another category by Anne Stuart. Entertaining and suspenseful although this time I guessed the villain fairly early.

The story had quite a curious setting, a puppet factory where most of the workers and the owner seem to have a puppet alter ego. Judith Daniels arrives trying to discover what really happened to her friend whose death was officially ruled an accident. Although she comes under an alias, Ryan Smith, the factory owner soon discovers who she really is.

As Judith tries to find more about Lacey's death a dark shadow emmerges decided to stop her. At the same time she and Ryan feel more and more attracted to each other but she is unable to trust him and even believes he can be Lacey's murderer.

I must say that I wasn't too impressed with the heroine's description. She seemed a bit too beautiful to be real. I think I prefer some of Stuart's less perfect heroines. Other than that the book had lots of potential but somehow falls a bit short. It has a dark atmosphere but it never quite felt dark enough, then the murderer in the puppet suit should have terrorised me as I really dislike costumes but somehow never did, the hero has a pretty dark and hard past but it's not fully explored. He has all of her usual bad boy's characteristics - dark, mysterious, unhappy past - except the bad behaviour.

However it's still Anne Stuart so it's still well written and a nice and entertaining story in an unusual setting. In fact now that I've been spoiled by her latest romantic suspense titles whenever I read these earlier books it feels like she was already writing in that direction, she just hadn't fully explored them yet. But there's something pretty unique in Stuart's books that makes us remember them. In this one it was the setting.

Grade: B-

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