Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Left To Die" by Lisa Jackson

Jillian Rivers receives mysterious pictures of her first husband, who has been presumed dead fore more than a decade. Suspecting it may be work of her second husband whom she is now divorced from, she heads off in search of the truth. But a psycho stalker blows out her tires somewhere in Montana and her car crashes horrifically. She is rescued from certain death by Zane McGregor, who tends to her wounds in his isolated cabin. Since she was actively targeted by a person who wants her dead, Jillian isn't sure she can trust Zane. Especially since there is a madman out there who enjoys causing pretty women to have car accidents, at first helping them to recover, before tying them naked to a tree and letting them die of exposure.

Detectives Regan Pescoli and Selena Alvarez are the ones responisble for catching this killer. Not that they do much detecting amongst the fifty-thousand-or-so times they say something along the lines of: "We have to catch this mad bastard soon!" Also, Regan is more than a bit preoccupied with her churlish and ungrateful teenage children, Bianca and Jeremy, and her ex-husband Lucky, who is suddenly showing an interest in being a full-time carer for said children. Now, what could possibly be the connection between the psycho tying naked chicks to trees, and the psycho who used pictures of Jillian's presumed-dead first husband to lure her to Montana?

As it happens, nothing. I know it's not cool to reveal too much about a book's plot, but this piece of junk is nothing but filler. About half-way through the detectives surmise that Jillian's psycho is simply a copycat who uses the other killer's M.O. as an opportunity to try and off her - Jillian survives, of course. So much of the book is devoted to the demented activities of the psycho who is called the "Star-Crossed Killer" that by the time it is revealed Jillian Rivers and Zane McGregor have nothing to do with him, there is little room left for their own story to go. The solution to the mystery of Jillian's tormentor is very simple and utterly stupid. To add insult to injury, the identity of the "Star-Crossed Killer", which we were lead to believe was the main element of this novel, is never resolved. No, we have to wait for "Chosen To Die" before we get to find that information out! It's been a long time since I've been swindled like that in a book, and this is certainly one of the worst cases I've come across. Combine Jackson's contempt for her audience with her continued bizarre over-use of the word "damn" (at least three times a page), and you have a pile of shit like "Left To Die" that should be left on the shelve, to die a long and painful death of its own.

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