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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book Review: Until Proven Guilty by J. A. Jance

Finished March 19, 2014

Synopsis at Good Reads

The little girl was only five, much too young to die -- a lost treasure who should have been cherished, not murdered. She could have been J.P. Beaumont's kid, and the determined Seattle homicide detective won't rest until her killer pays dearly. But the hunt is leading Beaumont into a murky world of religious fanaticism, and toward a beautiful, perilous obsession all his own. And suddenly Beau himself is a target -- because faith can be dangerous...and love can kill

My review at Good Reads

3 out of 5 stars

I usually prefer my thrillers by male authors. The reason for that is female authors often inject a superfluous love story. If there’s killing being done I prefer the killing being done and a savvy sleuth finding the killer and solving the crime. Okay, maybe not that simple and a love subplot is okay once in a while but I don’t care for a “love story with a crime subplot.”

Until Proven Guilty started with no love plot at all, just an horrific homicide complicated by a group of religious fanatics surrounding the murder. The story was good and the initial crime development was excellent but about halfway through I was disappointed that the love story was taking over the book. Then there were other murders that didn’t make sense with the plot. I wondered if the plot from the synopsis that made me want to buy the book had been buried by the love plot.

My biggest beef was with the main character who I thought could’ve been better developed and was shallow and not nearly as wise as his age and position would lead you to expect. It irritated me most because the “dumbing down of the main character” was essential for the love story to happen. In the end the love story is tied back into the crime story with a twist but by the time of the twist I had grown quite tired of the whole love story and the naïveté of the main character and I just wanted the book to end.

If you enjoy a good police thriller and absolutely despise romance novels don’t read this book. But if you enjoy a love story, however improbable that story is, intermingled with a murder mystery, you might enjoy this book. For me personally I don’t think multiple murders and a wedding belong in the same book; I don’t care for romance and crime mixed. The characters can fall in love or be in love as a smaller part of the book, but when the bullets are flying or the knives are slashing that should be the main story.

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