Wednesday, December 03, 2008

CFBA Tour - Dark Pursuit

I've taken a little time off from reviewing books in order to avoid commitments I can't meet. However, I couldn't pass up this week's book from the CFBA: Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins. This is her first book (a stand alone) since her lauded Kanner Lake series.

Darell Brooke is the King of Suspense, having written 99 books. Since his car accident two years ago, he is a shell of his former imposing self. He needs a cane to get around and he can't concentrate enough to hold a plot. He badly wants to reclaim his glory and write book #100, but he can't push through the mental fog.

When his estranged granddaughter Kaitlan returns to his door, with a tale of a murderous boyfriend after her, he wants to help her. He's a police officer and has hid the evidence, so she can't go to the local police. Can the King of Suspense help save his only family and reclaim his fame with the plot inspiration drawn from the trap?

I admit it was a little different reading this book. I was invested in the lives of the people in her Kanner Lake books, so it was a shift to get into the characters of Dark Pursuit. Brandilyn continues her expert pacing and building of suspense. The book never fails to be a page turner.

The new characters grew on me after a while. Darell Brooke is a prickly old man, bitter about his new circumstances, and it is hard to empathize with him initially. Kaitlan is a sympathetic character, and she's easier to root for, especially when she is in danger.

I also struggled with the apparant direction of the book for a while, because it seemed un-Brandilyn. The reader knew everything up front, and it seemed like I was just following along. I should've known better. I don't want to give away anything more than there's more than meets the eye, and I was very pleasantly surprised at the end. The twists and turns are very satisfying.
I had a little problem with the obsession of the killer, but this comes into focus better at the end. Still, it seemed a little too outrageous to me. There was also some repetition of phrases describing the suspense that caught my eye after a while, distracting me.

Up until the last part of the book, it wasn't my favorite Brandilyn Collins book. It was a worthy enough suspense, but I wasn't savoring it. After finishing it this morning, it really turned it into a very enjoyable, satisfying read. She sucks us in, then pulls a fast one. I shouldn't be surprised. Her fans will find this new book continuing her tradition of Seatbelt Suspense, while new readers should find this a solidly entertaining suspense.

Also, for more behind the story, check out this interview with Brandilyn in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine. You can also read the first chapter of Dark Pursuit, HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Jason, very nice, insightful review. Thanks for your honest feedback!