Sunday, November 11, 2012

Every Breath You Take

Every Breath You Take
M. K. Gilroy
Published by Worthy Publishing
365 pages
Genre: mystery
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.
3.5 / 5 cupcakes

Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do. In Detective Kristen Conner's case, she has to go undercover as an escort. For this pants and sensible shoes loving girl, having to deck herself out in tight jeans, high heels and fashionable hairdos is akin to selling a chunk of her soul. But she is a professional and holds the law in high regard, so she does it, because she wants to find a killer.

This is largely a mystery, and it refers to Cuts Like a Knife, the first book in what appears to be a series. You don't have to read the first one, though, to understand this one. I think it might help you understand some of the interpersonal dynamics, but it is not necessary.

In the case of the mystery, we have a wealthy, spoiled, debauched man with a fondness for escorts turn up dead. Someone killed him, but who? It appears there are several likely candidates, and Kristen must figure out who dun it. Eliminating one suspect invariably leads to discovering a new one, as motives become apparent. The mystery has a good hook and will keep you turning the page, even if the outcome is not wholly surprising.

In addition to trying to find the killer, though, this is also the story of a young woman's personal growth. Kristen has two sisters, one married with children and the other a gorgeous, popular news correspondent. Despite having a solid career, Kristen nonetheless is trying to find her place in the world. She is not married, has no children, and neither of those situations appears likely to change in the near future. Her previous boyfriend had a brother who kidnapped her sister. There is a man, but he's an FBI man and does not live in Chicago. He comes to visit Kristen, and we hold our breath, waiting to see if she even knows how to have a relationship.

Then there is Kristen's family, a tight knit, faith-oriented bunch who supports each other. As Kristen coaches her niece's soccer team, we get to see her where she feels most comfortable. When she is challenged, whether by players' parents or another coach, she reacts with strength and composure. The same holds true for her personal life.

Despite the sordidness of the crime, this is a fairly tame book. We don't get down and dirty in the escort business, nor do we see much more than kissing exchanged between Kristen and her man friend. That's fine and all - there is a definite Christian undertone to this book - but it makes it feel a little sterile. A little artificial. Kristen is pretending to be an escort. She fancies a man. We expect her to want to kiss men or to play a role. She doesn't.

There are some loose ends, which obviously opens us up to a third book. That's a good thing, because I want to continue to get to know Kristen Conner. She is an interesting character, if not a little too good at times, and she's sympathetic. She needs another book about her.

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