*I received a complimentary copy of this book, and I’m leaving a voluntary review*
Plot in short: Woman is murdered. Man accused. Turns out woman didn’t exist at all.
The longer version: Susan Whitaker, wife of the Californian Governor, is found dead in a car in a park. Celebrity Benjamin Carlton is accused for the murder and put on trial. Rita, his girlfriend sets out to defend her pressumed innoncent boyfriend, and on the way unravels a variety of secrets and conspiracies – including that Susan Whitaker doesn’t exist and a mysterious diary – which gets the FBI, the mob, and an unkown serial killer involved.
First of all – I didn’t personally like this book. I have to be honest and say that – though the plot that’s there isn’t bad. But it was such a slog to get through. The story is so riddled with overdone description, metaphors and filler scenes that it was physically tiring to read. I’m a firm believer in the less-is-more approach (when it comes to just about everything), and I feel like I wouldn’t be lying when I say that Augustine Sam probably has never even heard of the concept. I kept having to go back to reread parts of dialogue, because when I’d gotten to the next half, I’d read a long detailed scene description and forgotten what characters were talking about.
Also, I kept being annoyed at characters pouting constantly, as well as the ‘loud silence’ that interupted every other moment between two people.
But I liked the story (I think), and I want to like it at least. There’s action, investigation and a lot of court scenes, which I abosolutely love. One thing about the main plot that annoyed be however, was this mysterious diary. Rita finds this early on in the book, and is told by Carlton that it’s dangerous and that she shouldn’t look at it/read it or even think about it. Later it becomes evident that both the FBI, the mob, and the serial killer wants to get a hold of it, and that anyone who even know the name of it (ALTAMA), is marked for death.
Yet we never learn why! I realized by the end of the book I had no idea what the mob’s agenda was. What did they want? Why did they want to kill everyone? Same with the serial killer, I got that the diary was important, but why? I kind of hope that it’s just me being stupid (and it probably is), because I wish there was more to that part of the book. And I never understood why the FBI kept asking Rita to hand over the book (she keeps refusing), instead of just arresting her, going into her house and take the book. She keeps saying no, and they’re just fine with that. Constantly.
I got to admit, I don’t like writing these reviews. I don’t like pointing out what I think are flaws or say how much I disliked something, because it’s not nice and it reminds me of how old and grumpy I’m becoming. So I encourage anyone who’s looking for a good court case crime/thriller conspiracy story to go read this. Go prove me wrong. Tell me how stupid I am for not getting it.