The Witness // Before I Wake // by Dee Henderson

I had so many good resolutions when I last posted here, all these ways I was going to get caught up on my backlog of reviews and get this blog back on track!  …and then my internet went out for a week.  Ah well, such is life.  I don’t really get all that stressed about it, other than the fact that the piles of books around my computer are threatening to topple over…

As I mentioned, I’ve been reading through Dee Henderson’s standalone novels.  It started because I received her most recent book, Threads of Suspicion, as an ARC from Bethany House.  Now this book is the second book in Henderson’s new series – the Evie Blackwell Cold Cases.  Being myself, I thought I would just go ahead and read the first book, Traces of Guilt, first, and then I would be good to go.  I really have a problem of not being able to dip in and out of series… I basically feel a compulsion to read them all, in order.

So anyway, I open up Traces of Guilt and start to read… and on the very first page is a character that I definitely remembered from being in one of Henderson’s other books!  So then I started wondering if this really was a new series, or if there were going to be a lot overlapping characters……..and before I knew it, I had been sucked in, and ended up reading all of the novels she has published since her O’Malley series (which I actually really enjoyed).

Here’s the thing:  Henderson’s “standalone” novels aren’t really standalones… a lot of them have interconnecting characters, which, over time, does become kind of important.  I’m at the point now where I’ve been immersed in her world for eight books, though, so it’s kind of hard for me to say whether or not these books would make sense if genuinely read on their own.  Some of them would, I think, but others it seems like a lot would go over your head if you didn’t know some of the background for the characters.  What I really don’t understand is why, in general, authors don’t indicate when books are connected??  I’m not sure if they don’t want to scare people off by making their  books a series or what, but I’ve come across this with other authors as well, and it honestly drives me crazy.  I WANT TO READ THE BOOKS IN ORDER and it’s extremely aggravating when I can’t even figure out what order that is supposed to be because the author is pretending like they are all independent books when they AREN’T!  With Henderson, I had to go through and determine when each book had been published and read them in that order.  What.  Even.

SO.  General ranting about the concept of calling books standalone when they are not, in fact, standalone, is over – on to the actual books themselves!

The problem is that I really enjoyed the O’Malley series so much.  They were engaging, exciting, full of solid conversations, and tackled topics and themes in a realistic and thought-provoking way without ever sounding preachy.  And none of Henderson’s other books have lived up to those in my mind, so even though many of her books are pretty decent, I’m always somewhat disappointed because they aren’t as good as the O’Malley series.

With that in mind…  I found both The Witness and Before I Wake to be 3/5 reads.  They were interesting and had decent characterization, but somehow just lacked the zing.

//published 2006//

The Witness was just a bit slow, especially since it SEEMED like it should be quite exciting.  Luke is the chief of police and, in the first chapter, is on the scene shortly after a shooting takes place in a jewelry store.  The only witness is a young woman who, Luke eventually finds out, is on the run from a different crime she witnessed several years earlier.  While the story started well, it slowly devolved from a thriller into a gentle romance, a theme I found running through several of Henderson’s books.  It just doesn’t seem right to advertise a book as a romantic thriller when it’s basically just the romantic part…

Soon there were too many couples:  Luke and Amanda.  Connor and Marie.  Caleb and Tracey.  And several other pairs that Henderson kept hinting around should or would be dating soon.  After a very long middle section where basically nothing happens except for all the couples working through their internal problems (which are pretty easy to solve because everyone is ridiculously wealthy – another common Henderson theme), all of the sudden there is a bunch of action that feels quite abrupt and SOMEONE DIES, which was quite upsetting and felt completely unnecessary.

All in all, not a bad book, but not one I feel compelled to read again.

//published 2003// Also, she has some of THE WORST covers of all time, ugh //

There were some common issues with Before I Wake.  Again, the premise is completely engaging – several women, apparently unconnected, die in their sleep, despite being youngish and in apparently good health.  No sign of foul play or visitors.  Rae has recently moved to town to become a business partner with a guy she used to date, Bruce, who is a private investigator.  Rae used to work undercover for the FBI and had an assignment go south.  Still recovering emotionally, she’s left DC behind and moved to this small town outside of Chicago.

This book had a tighter story and more tension.  But there was this weird, super-polite love triangle as Bruce is still quite interested in Rae romantically, but the sheriff, Nathan, is also very interested in Rae.  Rae isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life or if she is interested in either of these guys, and in the meantime the three of them work together virtually with no tension, which didn’t really seem likely, given the interconnecting emotions.

This book would have probably gotten 4/5, except the ending felt like a total cop-out.  There were several suspects and a lot of different motives, but SPOILER, it’s just a random dude?  And then he just conveniently dies in a car wreck, so everyone’s problems are solved, hurrah!  There was also no resolution in the relationships between Rae, Bruce, and Nathan, and it honestly felt like Henderson was getting ready to start another series with this trio, as the relationships had that very open-ended feel to them.  But we actually don’t here from these guys again in the rest of the books, so oh well I suppose.

Overall, Before I Wake was a book that could have been really good but ended up kind of meh because of the weak ending.

This actually means that I have FINALLY finished reviewing all of my May reads, so maybe someday we’ll actually look at books I’ve been reading in June… even though June is almost over…!!!

Say You’re Sorry // by Michael Robotham

//published 2012//

In Robotham’s sixth outing for the Joseph O’Laughlin series, Joe himself is back as the main narrator (present tense, unfortunately, although Robotham does write it fairly well).  Some time has passed since the last book, but much of Joe’s life looks the same: still estranged from his wife (not divorced), but still working with her to raise their two daughters.  He has moved back to London, and the book begins with his daughter Charlie coming to stay with him for the weekend.

The other narrator of the story is Piper.  Piper was kidnapped three years before Joe’s story begins, and she and her friend Tash have been held in a small basement room ever since.  Her story is interspersed between Joe’s chapters, as we learn the back story of how Piper ended up where she is.  In Joe’s world, a girl is found dead and is identified as Tash.  In Piper’s story, we find out just how this all came to be.

Robotham balances these two narratives perfectly, giving just the right of information from one before switching to the other.  While Joe’s story takes up the majority of the book, Piper’s bits are critically important and emotionally devastating.  This isn’t a pretty story, as it involves kidnapping, rape, and even some torture, but Robotham handles all of this deftly.  We are told enough so that we know what we need to know, but he doesn’t smother the reader in excruciating details.

The tension really ratchets up in this book, and I found myself racing through the pages to find out whether or not Piper survives.  My only complaint was that while the clues were there to point to the true criminal, I also found it hard to believe that he had disguised himself so well.

There are always minor quibbles.  I’m still aggravated with Joe’s wife, who seems to think that it’s perfectly acceptable to keep Joe stringing along for years instead of just making a final decision as to whether or not she wants a divorce, especially when her reasons for not wanting him to stay with her seem flimsy at best.  I really miss the Julianne of the early books – I thought that she added an intriguing dimension to the story.  Ah well.  On the other hand, I’m really a bit in love with Vincent Ruiz, who reminds me quite a bit of Agatha Christie’s Superintendent Battle.  He is definitely my favorite character.

All in all, this has been a very enjoyable series so far.  While I’m definitely getting more out of them by reading them in order, they also seem like they would be perfectly readable as stand-alones.  I really appreciate Robotham’s ability to tackle some intense subjects without making his stories too bleak – although his willingness to kill off various people means that while I’m fairly certain that Joe himself will survive, I’m still rather worried about everyone else: the tension is real!

4/5 for this outing; recommended.

March Minireviews – Part 1

Usually, I only post a group of minireviews for books that have just been sort of meh for me, leaving me with not a whole lot to say about the story.  But this month I’ve been super busy with work and other projects and just simply haven’t had time for reviews.  I really struggled through a reading slump the end of February and into March, but over the last couple of weeks have been back in the groove, which means I actually have quite the little pile of books waiting to be reviewed.  Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to really unpack all the ins and outs, so I’m going to try to just give each read a few paragraphs… hopefully I don’t get too carried away…

Dead End Close by Dominic Utton

//published 2017//

I actually started a whole long review of this book but then got really carried away.  I disliked this book so much that the whole review was turning into a rather incoherent rant, so maybe I can just summarize a briefer, coherent rant here.  I actually rather enjoyed Utton’s first book, Martin Harbottle’s Appreciation of Timeand I think that added to the disappointment that I felt about Dead End Close.  This book focuses on several households all on the same dead-end street in Oxford.  There’s a bit of mystery/thriller aspect, but at the end of the day this book was just overwhelmingly depressing.  No one has a happy life, no one has a happy ending.  All of my notes on this book end with “???” because I just didn’t get this book at all.  There’s this weird guy meandering through the story (and sometimes narrating it) with a clipboard, and we are given the impression that he’s a supernatural/angelic being of some kind (???), but apparently there for observation purposes only has he does diddly-squat to prevent anything from happening.  Throughout the story, all the lives that started pretty bad to begin with only get worse.

But the biggest reason that this book gets 0/5 stars for me is that a huge part of the plot centers around a trio of Oxford boys who are trying to get into a club, and the initiation process requires them to rape a girl, video it, and then get the video to go viral.  This whole part of the book literally made me ill to read, it was so disturbing and dark and gross.  And maybe I could have gotten around this if this book had had some kind of point, but it didn’t.  The whole story was just completely pointless.  It went no where, there was no character development, terrible things happened to everyone, people get raped and killed, and a heavy sense of hopelessness lingers on every page.

I think I was especially irked when I got to the end and Utton attempted to whitewash his entire story by acting like, somehow, there was a message of hope.  Like, “Oh wow, sometimes bad things happen, but there’s always hope!”  Yeah, that doesn’t really fly with me when the only “hope” part of your story is in the next-to-last paragraph of the entire book.

Dead End Close was given to me free of charge from the publishers, and this is my obviously very honest review.  I hated every word of this book and wouldn’t even recommend it to someone I didn’t like.  Weirdly, I would still read another of Utton’s books, though, because I enjoyed Harbottle, but this one was flat dreadful.

The Wreckage by Michael Robotham

//published 2011//

They say that a book can impact your mood.  I think this is true, but I also think that sometimes my mood impacts the book.  I picked up The Wreckage (the fifth in the Joseph O’Laughlin series) during the height of my reading slump and could not get into it.  And even though I eventually finished the book, it never really gripped me.  I can’t say for sure if that was the book’s fault or mine, but I definitely felt very meh towards this story the whole way through.

I think a large part of this was because it didn’t feel nearly as personal as the other books in this series.  The other books have dealt with tight, domestic-type crimes (kidnapping, murder, robbery, etc.), but this one was more political, following a storyline in Iraq, where a reporter believes that several bank robberies are connected; and London, where our old friend Vincent Ruiz finds himself entangled in a complicated web of disappearances, robberies, and embezzlement.

The story was done well, and the present-tense that Robotham insists on using made more sense as a third person narrative.  But my personal disinterest meant that I didn’t read this book very closely, and consequently it felt disjointed to me.  It left me with a 3/5 rating, but I think that it will be better when I read through this series again.

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

//published 2017//

This was another ARC, but one that I thankfully enjoyed a great deal more than Dead End Close.  This story drifts back and forth in time, following the lives of three German women before, during, and after World War II.  While this wasn’t exactly a cheerful read, it was a very engaging one.  Shattuck handles the shifts in time perfectly, giving information about the lives of these women at just the right time.  It is not a mystery, but each of the women has her own secrets that are only gradually revealed.

It was quite fascinating to read a story about “everyday” Germans.  Marianne, passionate about the resistance; Benita, rather naive and sometimes willfully blind; Ania, caught up in the dream of a better life and failing to see how the promises were built on shifting sand.  The language is lovely and the characters are well-drawn, although I wish that we saw more of Marianne’s thoughts and actions.  She is weirdly both the center of the story and yet in the background of it.

While I don’t see myself returning to this book time and again, I would definitely read another of Shattuck’s books, and recommend this one to anyone who enjoys history from the perspective of ordinary people struggling to see what is right.  4/5.

The Fourth Wish by Lindsay Ribar

//published 2014//

This book is the sequel to a lighthearted YA novel that I read in February, The Art of Wishing.  While Wishing didn’t really blow my mind with its awesomeness, it was still an entertaining and pleasant read, and I was expecting more of the same from The Fourth Wish.  Unfortunately, it was overall pretty terrible.  In this book, Margo is struggling to adjust to her new life as a genie.  For some reason, Ribar decided that the overwhelming majority of people who get a hold of a genie would use their wishes to find some kind of sexual fulfillment.  Color me crazy, but if I had three wishes for anything, I really don’t think any of them would involve sex…???  Plus, we also have to spend a lot of time nattering on about how genies can be either male or female (I mean the same genie can be either), and how this doesn’t change who they are on the inside, and they can still love each other no matter their outward apperance, aw how romantic except why so boring and consequently not actually romantic at all.

I skimmed large portions of this book hoping to actually find a story, but there wasn’t one.  Margo was a total whiner in this book, spending most of  her time being a jealous girlfriend.  I don’t really have high hopes for her relationship with Oliver, especially since they are not both timeless, eternal beings.  Like I don’t think this relationship is going to last five months, much less five centuries.

In the end, 2/5 and nothing that inspired me to find out if Ribar has written anything else.

Still Life // by Dani Pettrey

//published 2017//

Still Life is the sequel to Cold Shotand as the books focus on a group of friends, my guess is that there will be a few more books in the series.  While there were several things that I enjoyed about this story, it also fell into some ruts in places, so overall I’m going with the same rating as I gave the first book in the series – 3.5/5.

The initial mystery in this book is great.  It starts with Avery visiting the opening of an art show.  Avery used to be a photographer, but was blacklisted (before the events in the first book) because of a controversial political shot.  After that, she worked for a while as a crime-scene photographer, which is where we met her in Still Life.  However, she felt like her feelings were growing too strong for her employer, Parker (a crime-scene analyst), so since the ending of the last book, she has gone back to doing some free lancing.

At any rate, this art show is one of the first times that she’s reentered the professional photography sphere and she is a bit nervous.  But she promised her friend that she would come.  Skylar and Avery grew up together, and even though they aren’t as close as they once were, Avery still feels a lot of responsibility for Skylar.  While Skylar isn’t an artist, she is the focus of the art show that is getting ready to open, as the photographer used her as his model.  Weirdly enough, the artist chose to use a theme wherein he posed his subject as though she had died.  Kind of creepy, but artists can be a strange lot.

When Avery gets there, she is surprised that she can’t find Skylar anywhere.  But Avery doesn’t really begin to worry until the photographs are revealed – and the artist becomes enraged because not only has someone stolen one of his photographs, it has actually been replaced by another picture of Skylar posing as though she has died… except Avery isn’t convinced that it is actually a pose…

Soon Avery and our friends from Cold Shot (which you definitely need to read before reading this book to really understand the interactions between the main characters) are scampering all over the place trying to put together the clues.  And while some of them have jurisdiction over what they are doing, I was sometimes confused about how they would just knock on doors and ask questions and people would just chat it up with them without requesting any kind of proof that these people should be asking these questions.

Then there was this weird secondary plot with a terrorist who snuck into the country illegally on a boat, and that thread just didn’t seem to fit with the Skylar story at all.  Instead, it felt like a heavy-handed contrivance so Pettrey could keep setting up another couple for the next book.  I found myself mildly aggravated, because with a little more attention, I think that the Skylar mystery could have been much stronger.  Like I understand that you want to make characters flow from one story to the next, but I don’t have to be repeatedly told about the confused/conflicted feelings that these other two have for each other just so I’ll understand the next book.  Instead, it felt like the other couple was stealing the show from Avery and Parker.

As with Cold Shot, there was more romance/relationship than thriller, which would have been fine if the focus had stayed on Avery and Parker.  I think that Still Life would have greatly benefited from focusing on the Skylar mystery and the Avery/Parker relationship, and relegating the build up for the next book to the background.  Still, this was a solid read with engaging characters, and I do see myself continuing through the series.  The ongoing mystery of what happened to Luke several years ago is being woven into these stories, so I’m hoping for a grand finale tale at some point that will answer all of those questions as well.

My only other issue with this book is the cover art.  This one isn’t quite as bad as Cold Shot, but I’m just really not a fan of carrying around a book with a brooding hero on the cover, especially when I felt like the book was actually a lot more about Avery than it was about Parker.

Many thanks to Bethany House, who provided me with a free copy of the book.  My sincere apologies for taking so long to get to this review, but life has taken one of those turns for the crazy!

Cold Shot // by Dani Pettrey

I received Still Life from the publisher in exchange for a review, and because of who I am as a person, I knew there was no way that I could just jump into the second book in a series, so I checked Cold Shot out of the library so I could read it first.  I’m really glad that I did that in this instance – these two books are really closely connected, and Cold Shot gives a lot of the background for the group of characters whose stories continue in Still Life.  I think I would have been confused if I had tried to read Still Life on its own.

These were the first of Pettrey’s books that I’ve read, although I’ve had her Alaskan Courage series on the TBR for a while now.

Both books focus on a core group of friends.  Griffin, Luke, Declan, and Parker all grew up together.  Several years ago Luke disappeared.  Another dramatic event had already fractured the relationship between Griffin and Parker, so while the remaining three friends have stayed in touch, things just aren’t the same.

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//published 2016//

Cold Shot opens with Griffin working as a park ranger at Gettysburg.  It was actually kind of funny to me because my husband and I had been talking that day about going to Gettysburg this spring, and I had been reading some stuff online and recalling other trips I have made there (he’s never been), then I flip open Cold Shot and bam!  Gettysburg!  Another funny thing was that despite the fact that I’ve been to Gettysburg several times, I somehow never really realized how close it is to the Chesapeake Bay/Baltimore, Maryland.  So there was this kind of weird ocean/bay vibe that wasn’t remotely bad, but just funny because I never really think about Gettysburg in those terms.

Anyway, in the first chapter, Griffin interrupts some guys trying to do some grave looting in the park. Except it turns out that skeleton they’ve found is much more recent than Civil War era.  Griffin calls in forensic anthropologist Finley Scott to check out the body, and she confirms that the body has been here less than a year.  As the case unwinds, both Declan (now working for the FBI) and Parker (a crime-scene analyst) get called in as well, and soon the three are working through not only the case, but their shared past as well.

So overall I did like this book and was engaged in the story.  It kind of reminded me of Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series, where everyone in this group of friends just-so-happens to do something super helpful for crime solving, but I was willing to roll with it.  I really liked Griffin and Finley together and felt like they developed a solid relationship.  Pettrey also did a good job a weaving a theme of the importance of forgiveness (of others and of self) throughout without turning preachy.

However, the thriller/mystery aspect wasn’t particularly strong.  In some places, the twists felt a little left-field, and in others things fell into place a little too smoothly.  Also, they determine at one point that the sniper was shooting from a range of 1500 yards, and I looked it up and while it is possible, it’s like ridiculously difficult, to the point where it seemed hard to believe that a sniper that skilled would be able to just sort of fade away and no one would know where he was or what he was doing.  And while I liked Griffin and Finley together, their continual internal dialogue about not feeling good enough for the other began to get a little repetitive in places, feeling more like filler than actual story.

Still, a decent book, which was also encouraging because it meant that the book I had actually agreed to review probably wouldn’t be terrible!  Overall, 3.5/5.  Recommended if you like your thrillers to have a bit more romance than thrill.

Also, Stephanie reviewed this book last year when it first came out, so you should check out her review here.

PS I think this book lost a half star just because of the cover.  Like what is with that dude?  He looks like he’s cold and also possibly having some gas pain or something.  Weirded me out.  Although I will say that I’m overall not a fan of just a PERSON on the front of a book; that always seems weird and awkward to me.

Bleed for Me // by Michael Robotham

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//published 2012//

This is the fourth installment of the Joseph O’Laughlin series, and Joe himself is once again our narrator – and once again in the first person, present tense.  Although I have to say that the tense didn’t bother me as much this time – I think Robotham is getting better at it, sometimes having Joe explaining what just happened instead of in the moment, which makes the narration somewhat more believable.

While Bleed for Me was just as intense as the earlier books, I didn’t enjoy it as much as Shatter.  I think this was partially because the victims/intended victims were very young.  There is something inherently uncomfortable about people who prey on the young and innocent, and consequently this book was disturbing to me.  It was done well, and in many ways addressed the dangers of placing too much trust in people we don’t really know, but it was still troubling.

The personal troubles between Joe and his estranged wife continue, leaving me feeling consistently annoyed with the wife, who I actually really liked in the first couple of books.  But she basically comes out and says that she can’t handle the person Joe has “become” since he found out he has Parkinson’s, which is why they have now been separated – not divorced – for two years.  So here’s Joe, gradually dying of a degenerative disease, separated from his home and beautiful daughters because his wife feels like Joe is too morbid (or something, I’m honestly still not clear on what her issue with Joe really is – she just keeps saying things like “I don’t love you in the right way” whatever the heck that means), and that just seems cruel.  Sure, they still share duties with the daughters and work together on parenting, but it’s not the same as living with them, which is obvious from the way that Joe hangs around his old house like a stray dog, hoping for glimpses of all the little family-life details that he’s missing.

I guess I just don’t understand why that makes a better background story for Joe than having him stay married, with him and his wife working together through the difficulties of life.  Instead, it’s just another couple (or at least half a couple) who are willing to give up on over two decades of relationship because things have gotten hard.

ANYWAY I do love series like this because I love recurring characters and seeing a bit more of them every time.  Vincent Ruiz is still one of my faves, just as gruff and honey badger-ish as ever –

Political correctness is not one of Ruiz’s strong suits.  He once told me that being politically correct was like pretending you could pick up a dog turd by the clean end.

He’s also a great friend for Joe, and I love the way that their friendship has progressed since the first book.

The story itself was very gritty and done well.  The bad guy was so slimy, and watching him slither through loopholes was incredibly frustrating.  However, I felt like there were more aspects of this book that didn’t fit together than there have been in the earlier books.  While we got explanations for most of the stuff that happened, some things are just left as implied that it was because of this other guy being involved.  The mystery kind of stretched beyond the initial tragedy, and it sometimes felt like some of the connections between this crime and another were a little forced.

Still, I did enjoy this installment, and am curious to see what else Robotham has in store as the series progresses.  3/5.

The Travelers // by Chris Pavone

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//published 2016//

Okay, I think I am working through this blogging slump – this is post #4 in as many days!  Woot!  It’s really great to get some of these to-be-reviewed books off the pile, too.  Always satisfying.

So.  Will Rhodes works for an old, well-established traveling magazine that has been around for decades.  He travels around the world, interviewing people and writing articles, and he’s done it for several years.  All in all, he’s a normal kind of guy – married to a woman he loves, trying to fix up an old house that they inherited, thinking about starting a family.

But then, while he’s in Europe, Will meets Elle.  She’s stunningly beautiful and more than a little alluring. Will has never cheated on his wife before, and he resists Elle, too – this time.  But when they coincidentally (???) meet again in South America, Will finds himself falling down the rabbit hole – into way more of an entanglement than a one-night stand.  Suddenly, Will finds himself embroiled in international intrigue and espionage, completely unwillingly.  As the lies and secrets begin to pile up, it becomes increasingly difficult to know who is working for whom.

All in all, The Travelers was a fun book.  For me, espionage books should be a romp.  I don’t necessarily expect a lot of in-depth character development from these types of books – just lots of action and twists.  And while this book had both, it somehow just didn’t have enough to really engage me.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I was bored by the book, because I did definitely keep reading it and was curious to see how things played out – but it somehow lacked the tension that a really good spy book needs.

Part of it may have been the present tense (thankfully first person) narrative, which is just 100% getting on my nerves.  Just why.  Please stop.  EVERYONE please stop.  I have picked up so many books written in the stupid present tense narrative lately and it is getting quite old.

But I think a bigger part was that Pavone didn’t (for me) completely strike that balance between revealing enough information to keep the story going, but keeping enough hidden to keep things tense.  At times, a twist could be seen coming a mile away.  At others, I would get very frustrated because it felt like I couldn’t really get into the story without knowing some information that was being withheld.  But it’s that balance that makes thrillers what they are, and can make a story that I don’t necessarily like still incredibly readable.  (In a Dark, Dark Wood comes to mind – I didn’t particularly enjoy the story or like any of the characters – but if you had told me halfway through that I wasn’t allowed to finish it, we would have had to take that issue outside and duke it out!)  In this case, the magical balance just wasn’t quite right, so while I was interested to see what was going to happen, I never felt desperate to know what was going to happen.

I think that the book could have been much improved if we had spent more time with Will’s wife, Chloe.  We get little snippets of what is happening with her, but it’s actually an important part of the story and was one those aspects that Pavone was kind of keeping hidden for dramatic effect but would have actually been more dramatic if we had actually known what was happening at her end.

Overall, though, it was a solid 3/5 read.  I really liked the ending, and would actually probably even pick up a sequel to this book if one ever appeared.  I liked a lot of the characters, and despite Will’s moment of infidelity, this was overall a book that was surprisingly positive towards marriage.  In many ways, Will and Chloe are at a crossroads in their relationship, and a decision to remember the things that brought them together initially and to go forward from there was so refreshingly mature.

While I don’t really intend to purchase The Travelers and read it over and over again, I’m interested to pick up another of Pavone’s books and see what else he has written.  In the  meantime, this one gets a moderate recommendation, and I would love to hear if anyone else has read it – did you find it more exciting than I did?