Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Chosen To Die" by Lisa Jackson

After the cop-out ending of "Left To Die", in which Det. Regan Pescoli was trapped in the clutches of the still-unidentified Star-Crossed Killer, we now get the hotly anticipated follow-up "Chosen To Die". Although I doubt anybody was hotly anticipating this absolute pile of shit.

When your predecessor is a 400-page cheat, you're not exactly getting off to a stellar start. And "Chosen To Die" doesn't do a single thing to try and amp up the plot strands left dangling by the first book. Regan Pescoli is at the mercy of a killer who likes to injure women, nurse them back to health and then tie them naked to trees so that they die of exposure to the nasty cold weather. Her partner Det. Selena Alvarez and Sheriff Dan Greyson frequently point out that they "need to find this bastard", but don't really seem to do much. We get points of view from ancillary characters who contribute little to the plot. Remind me again the purpose of Grace Perchant, the psychic? Why was she even here?

There is absolutely no plot to speak of here.

Just like "Left To Die" felt like a combination of two unfinished books that Jackson pulled out the drawer, dusted off and slapped together, "Chosen To Die" similarly throws in a random subplot in which psychiatrist Dr. Jalicia Ramsby suspects that her patient Padgett Long is not as brain-damaged as she appears. Especially after her brother Brady Long is murdered, leaving Padgett sole heir to a large fortune. It's made clear that the Star-Crossed Killer murdered Brady, but any mystery behind why he did it is left largely unexplored. And there is no connection to his penchant for tying naked chicks to trees.

Jackson is supposed to be a romantic suspense writer, but here she even bungles the romance angle. Since Regan is a captive for the whole book, Jackson relies solely on flashbacks to explain the deep love between Regan and the rebel cowboy Nate Santana who is ignoring the law and looking for Regan on his own. Another character even refers to him as a Long Ranger. I nearly vomited right there. To convince us that Regan and Nate are in love, Nate is all Regan thinks about and is what inspires her to fight and survive. Um....what about her kids?

After more than 400 pages of this puerile rubbish, Jackson can't even be bothered to give a decent motive or identity to the killer. He's a character that has never been introduced in either book, only referred to a couple of times. As for why he's tying naked women to trees, apparently it's because his application to join law enforcement was rejected. Yes, readers get to suffer through two truly awful books just to be offered that stunning psychological insight.

Yeah, that's a spoiler, but it will save you from wasting any time on this pathetic excuse for a book. It makes me so angry that authors like Lisa Jackson can earn a decent dollar for dribbling shit for 400 pages. I will not read another book by her ever again and urge any reader to do the same. She does not deserve it.

1 comment:

  1. Damn. I just finished Left To Die and I was pretty certain the murderer was Grayson after she mentioned him having a cabin in the woods.... I came looking for a review of the ending so I didn't have to waste three more months of my life, so thank you. But I am disappointed to find out I was wrong. Would've made a slightly better story.