Sunday, June 5, 2011

What was suspenseful in “Wicked Lies” by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush


I don’t read Lisa Jackson very often.  She is kind of hit or miss for me and Wicked Lies was a miss.  It is a revisit to the Oregon coast and the women’s colony called Siren Song.  A psycho has escaped from the hospital for the criminally insane and Justice Turnbull is back to finish the job of killing members of the Colony, especially any of the women who managed to leave and live on the outside.  Not only this but the women of the Colony have been graced/cursed with different psychic gifts.  The main character Laura/Lorilei is a nurse at the local hospital and she is able to tell the health status of people when she touches them.  She has just divorced an arrogant, cheating and self absorbed doctor and has just discovered she is pregnant due to a weekend when she tried one more time to make it work with Byron.  She hasn’t shared this information with anyone while she is deciding what to do with her life next.  She is also able to telepathically connect with the maniac Justin.  She can tell when he is nearby and when he has killed someone.  Then there is the intrepid and jaded newspaper reporter, Harrison Frost, who had been drummed out of Portland because he was stirring up too much heat for a local bigwig while investigating the fatal shooting of his brother-in-law. Lorelei and Harrison collide at the hospital where Justice’s first new victims have been brought for life saving treatment.  This looks like the formula for a suspenseful and tight thriller.  Not so much.

Wicked Lies was very predictable.  I knew from almost page 5 what was going to happen at the end of the book.  It wasn’t horrible, at all.  It was just predictable and boring.  I kept reading and pulling for ALL the characters not because in the hopes that a spark would burst into a suspenseful flame. I have read romantic thrillers in the past where the thrill was the romance and not the crime and visa versa. Laura and Harrison went from zero to one-twenty in less than twenty pages or two days in the story.  There was almost no flirting, sexual tension.  Given Laura’s situation I actually found it hard to believe she could think of another man in a romantic or sexual way. 

The other problem was characters that truly had nothing to add to the story were included.  The brothers who wanted to track Justice themselves.  They were 14 and 16.  I think they were in the first book, Wicked Games and Ms. Jackson didn’t want to leave them out here but they served no purpose.  They were introduced about a third way in and then not talked about until nearly the very end. 

I will pickup another Lisa Jackson because she has written some real gems like Absolute Fear and Shiver

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