Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"When I Wasn't Watching" by Michelle Kelly

Lucy Wyatt has tried to move on in the eight years since the murder of her son Jack, but all the unpleasant memories resurface when his killer, Terry Prince, is released on parole. The community is up in arms over the move, and the fact his location is being kept a secret.

DI Matt Winston is required to notify Lucy of the developments, and an attraction begins between them. A possible conflict of interest arises when another boy goes missing, one who resembles Jack. Has Terry Prince struck again, or is there another explanation?

Along with the unreliable female narrator trend in fiction these days is the child-has-gone-missing plot. It crops up again here in a story that is more drama than suspense. For the first half, it is mostly just an examination of Lucy's feelings, her ex-husband Ethan Randall's feelings, and her surviving son Ricky's feelings. Or the developing relationship between Lucy and Matt, which descends into the sort of risible sex scenes you might expect in a $2 bodice-ripper. It's not particularly enthralling.

And what is it with English novels and odious reporters on a single-handed mission to assassinate another person's character? I really, really want to see less of this trope. I'm pretty sure it's not even allowed? There's this thing called ethics I've heard about....

The kidnapped-child subplot never generates the tension necessary to label this a psychological thriller, nor the mystery surrounding Terry Prince's release and new location. There are a couple of mild plot twists delivered towards the end, but getting there is a bit of a hard slog.

On a side note, my Kindle version was absolutely riddled with grammatical errors. Not a good look for a supposedly professional publisher.

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