|Image from barnesandnoble.com|
(I still don't understand how that works. I go to my library's site, it sends me to Amazon, which sends me the book, and says I have two weeks to read it, but it doesn't go away from my iPad. And why are there a limited number of copies of ebooks available anyway, if they are digital?)
This book is about the abduction (duh) of a pretty young girl whose mother is a high-powered Dallas attorney and father is the next Bill Gates-type technogeek. HIS father is ex-Army Green Beret from the Vietnam days, and the plot gets pretty complicated with everyone connected to everyone else involved in this story.
I liked the plot okay, especially since everything worked out the way it was supposed to. Even the falseness of the "happily ever after" ending didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. Much.
There was a lot of foul language, which I suppose should be expected from ex-military types and high-powered attorney types, but it still gets my hackles up just a bit. (Is that the correct expression?) I think foul language has its place, but it can be overdone. I don't think it was a case of laziness in this book, as I've accused other authors of, and I would probably say some of the same words in the same situation. But maybe not so many times in the same sentence.
My main gripe with the book was that the characters were overcooked. The bitchy mother, attorney at law, was a bitch through-and-through. She not only belittled her husband and physically attacked him, she beat the crap out of the man they arrested for abducting her daughter. I mean she did some damage. (Side note: That man was NOT the man who had abducted her daughter, and he committed suicide in jail, and that bothered me a great deal. So many everything did NOT turn out like it was supposed to.) She had very few redeeming qualities until the very end of the book. It was hard to pull for her even then because she had been so 100% not likable through the rest of the story.
The father technogeek was a technogeek through and through. He flashed back to days of his youth when he was repeatedly beaten up by bullies at school and on military bases, and the flashbacks were all the same. He was videotaping his daughter's soccer game when she was abducted, and when law enforcement officials were scrutinizing the video for evidence, the father was heard talking on his cell phone to ... someone ... his broker maybe? ... about his company going public and becoming a billionaire and even refers to himself as a "geek." Isn't the first rule of geeks that they don't KNOW they're geeks? Of course he snaps out of his geekiness right when he's supposed to, and he becomes a manly man overnight. Forgives his wife, she forgives him, they live happily ever after.
The bad FBI people are thoroughly bad, the good FBI people are thoroughly good, even when they know they might lose their jobs. The former Green Beret manages to overcome his nightmares about the Vietnam War and his failures there in his quest to save his granddaughter. Oh, and he kicks his alcoholism too. And reunites with HIS wife.
Even Gracie, the little girl, is just too cute. She's athletic and smart as a whip and loyal to a fault, and there's nothing not to like about her. How many REAL ten-year-olds can you say that about? Hmmmm? I'm not trying to be mean, but she just wasn't real. Cute and lovable, but not very real.
One more thing: I think the author tried to step out of his true voice every now and then and interject some humor into his writing. Grisham can get away with that, and this guy probably could too, if he chose his moments. Here is an excerpt, taken from a high-drama moment when the kidnappers are being surrounded and it's do-or-die time for the heroes:
"The suspect was crouched behind an old truck and loading a goddamned grenade launcher! On the ground beside him was an MP-5 fully automatic machine gun! And FBI Special Agent Pete O'Brien was betting that truck didn't have an up-to-date vehicle registration on file with the Idaho DMV!"
See what I mean? And the exclamation points...excuse me?
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. I hope I haven't ruined the ending for anyone who had entertained thoughts about reading this book.
I will probably read another Gimenez book, but I'm going to take a break for a while. Read something with less drama