Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book review: Killing Me Softly by Maggie Shayne

I count on Maggie Shayne to give me a thriller with hot sex scenes thrown in.  Some of the book was a bit cliched, and I still enjoyed reading it.

Dawn is a specialty mechanic in California.  Bryan is her former high school sweetheart back home in Vermont.

Off-duty cop Bryan finds a dead body in his bed - apparently killed by a copycat of the Shadow Falls Strangler, said Strangle having recently died in prison. 

Dawn's mom, now married to Bryan's dad, calls Dawn to come home for moral support.  She hems and she haws, but eventually she returns home, as we know she must, because Bryan is a primary suspect.

Bryan and Dawn's reunion is by turns tense and easy, as they fall into the old habits of friendship.  Over the course of the murder investigation, Bryan and Dawn remember why they were in love, confront relationship ghosts and go on the lam together when the Strangler strikes again. 

They run their own investigation while they're on the run, thanks to the original police reports on the Strangler, which Bryan happened to have in his garage before the copycat struck.

And so, thrilling action ensues and some romance is to be had, old friends are rediscovered and new friends are found in unlikely places.

What I didn't like:  I met the killer in the first few pages of the book, and I knew who he was the minute he stepped onstage.  When I turned out to be right, I was deeply disappointed, because this sort of foreshadowing, for lack of a better word, falls short of Shayne's best.  I knew what the "witness" twist was very shortly after said witness was first discussed when reading a police report.  The sex scenes were tame in comparison to what I know Ms. Shayne can write.

What I did like:  The friendship of Dawn and Bryan was fairly realistic.  It moved tensely from the first re-meeting, when both parties remembered their mutual attraction, to the culmination of their story, with a supercorny but appropriate to the relationship resolution.  Shayne avoided the too-easy love at second sight immediate rebonding that some storytellers insist on using.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read.  It wasn't the best of Maggie Shayne's books, but it was better than the last one I read a week or so ago.

I bought this book sometime last year, and got nothing out of it but reading a good book.  I'll list it somewhere, and it's in like-new condition.  No, really.  I am more than a little OCD about my brand new books.  lol

Killing Me Softly