I have a huge fascination for true crime books & TV shows, forensics and investigation work, and the horrible court notes no one wants to read. Books like these get hard reviews because I tend to have a very low tolerance for poor crime writing, or the ability to escalate suspense in a thriller novel. The authors I enjoy in this genre are Kathy Reichs, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, etc… In the chummy, crime fighting partner books: Janet Evanovich kicks it with Fox and O’Hare, and Stephanie Plum and Morelli or her and Ranger. So you have to see my bar is high and and I’m going into this book with a lot of cannabes and wonnaflies; things that just can’t be and just won’t fly.
Amish raised Hannah Grace has a sketchy suitor and at the age of sixteen a ‘No, dude–you freak me out, GTFO!’ begins a waterfall of bad events which sends Hannah into the English world to seek the answer to the mystery of where her father went missing, to give her closure, that she might one day return to her congregation. Crap, that was a long sentence. Once in the outworld she gets her GED, goes to the big peoples school and goes and gets a badge. She goes to the place where they carry a big stick, get answers and ask questions; often in that order. She has been away from her upbringing and family for ten years, and carries the insecurity, ego, guilt and pride of a sinner with each step like a true champ while self righteously holding an inner commentary on people’s squandered wealth, blasphemous tongue and turning away of the simply life by getting lost in the trappings of the common day. Just so you know Hannah, if the intent to swear is there and you use another word it is still a curse. If I commit murder and I use a knife or a gun it doesn’t matter the method it’s still murder. You can insert any word you want into the slot of a word that lowers one’s esteem or dignity; It is a curse. You still sin, you just make the word less or more creative than someone might otherwise think it is.
Okay, I would have liked this book better if Allie K. Adams hadn’t introduced us to the baddie at the beginning of the book. Or maybe if she had introduced him but not told us his name? She sort of set this up like this is the guy who is your father’s every nightmare, who he least wants to see you marry, get ready!–He’s going to be the bad guy at the end of the book because this is the dude who is laying out his evil plan and telling all of us readers about it in advance. It killed all of the impact to come. This wasn’t even the way to start a great horror story. This book had too much show and tell in the start and then it had too much use of the word ‘closure’. If I were to play a drinking game while reading this book and hitting one back each time there was the word closure I’d be drunk.
I have too many notes in my device about investigation procedure, forensics, ethics, and terminology to be able to list them all. I am a little concerned though at the fact that Allie K. Adams introduces herself on her website and bio as having background in the areas which she writes about yet her characters Snow and White are called S&W after a gun. Smith and Wesson weren’t a gun, they were a manufacturer of firearms. Please don’t ever call a pistol, revolver, or rifle a gun–those are weapons; guns are what men and women flex when they are showing you their biceps. I have no issue with you wanting to use CSI, NCSI, or PMS and all the other acronyms as the set up for your procedural, I won’t tell anyone how unlikely it is that DNA would be processed lickity split, because I mean chances of DNA results being processed are less likely than winning the lottery, but please don’t ever call a sidearm a gun again if you don’t want me to disarm you in a review.
I’m going to stop nit-picking the science and terminology; the Amish culture is fascinating. I grew up in Pennsylvania and went to school at University Park where Farmer’s Markets teamed with Pennsylvania Dutch. In Pennsylvania the Amish have a very unique identity and dialect that has earned them the moniker Pennsylvania Dutch, it is a reference to the adapted German language of the region. Pennsylvania has the second largest population of Amish in the states with Ohio being the King of the Anabaptists. There isn’t a King Anabaptists that was a turn of phrase saying they win the prize for most Amish. That Allie K. Adams wrote about such a singularly uncommon group of peoples is kittens and pancakes and a great reason to pick this book up. It’s just that there are a so many things Grace does that are stunningly not in line with Gelassenheit, and I’m not talking about the part where she had to leave the congregation to find out what happened to her father even though that flew in the face of the submission the religion demanded.
Part of what makes a partnership in books great is the back and forth–when one yields and the other gives. The relationship between Murph and Grace did not work for me. Murph is a great character, he’s witty and warm, he’s the perfect foil for the right partner, but Grace is just not it. She is never a true partner in that she is always concerned with what is ‘hers’; there is no ‘i’ in ‘hers’. Why someone is undermining her is a constant worry, and she often thinks it’s her partner; paranoia comes with that au’dae Bitch. She behaves inappropriately at a murder scene, because someone comments about her gender, acting like a toddler, and then pushes it off on Murph because she thinks there is an ol’ boys club mentality.
What she fails to realize through the entire book is that respect is earned and if you act like a juniors department twat then everyone is going to talk to your dad. It has nothing to do with her gender, she just isn’t a team player and when guys try to include her in the reindeer games she thinks they are acting like guys. Check it, girlfriend, before you wreck it, guys are guys. If you can’t pull up your big girl pants and play with the big boys, you’re going to have to put the dead bodies away and get out of the sandbox. Maybe check into the secretary pool, you said you have experience there. You might not cry in your soup so much if you were in the kitchen cooking it, Pollyanna.
Not just does Grace have pride enough to bowl over a city, her ego is sizable as well. She is continuously comparing her humble life to the extravagance to others and telling herself how much better she is for it. She has an issue with Murph’s flirting, he’s too lustful; Grace controls her urges, he should be more like her. The Boyd’s have too big of a house. Their grounds are too nice. They have a housekeeper. She bought her table for five dollars, refinished it and repaired it herself. No one needs all that money. Instant gratification–email, text messages, I can’t remember the last, maybe it was something truly awesome like Midol. Why can’t people wait for the mailman? Well, Grace, it was because the mailman was fathering too many bastard children and we didn’t want to wait nine months to find out if they looked like the USPS guy or the dude that bought the diamond ring so we developed the WWW. A simple life is a life choice for a reason and Allie K. Adams misses that in this book and it falls flat. The point of rumschpringe is that rite of passage to explore and learn a little about the world to understand themselves better. They are supposed to get a better grasp of their place in the world they live in; Grace left her home in search of her father, which didn’t fail to slip by me was her search for “Grace”, but she still never seemed to understand where she fit. She refused to learn about the world she was in and she failed to conform to the world she grew up in. Grace chooses to be too proud for either place, she’s a very unlikable character for me. She reminds me of a twelve year old, she wants everything her way.
Lastly, this is going to be part of a series and the main group needs to have a lot of work because right now there is a lot of two-ply going on. There has to be a reason to care about these characters and I didn’t come away from this book anything but really wanting for Javan to kill her. Funny thing–I went through this entire post and never spoke about the baddie… I actually really liked him. I mean, I liked him. He was a well developed character. But clearly the better sinner is Grace.
I Will Find You Synopsis:
He abducts women who look like her and takes them as his bride. With each disappointment, he begins again.
A young female’s mutilated body is discovered outside the Newfoundland religious compound in Billings, dressed in Amish clothing. For Montana SBI Homicide Detective Hannah Grace, it’s unnerving how she and the victim bear more than a strong resemblance. She teams up with detective-in-charge and partner, Sean Murphy, to catch the killer before he strikes again. When the investigation leads them to a second body, the same features and clothing as the first, Hannah is shaken to the core and begins to make a terrifying connection—she may know the killer.
A gruesome discovery and a third victim leads them back to Newfoundland, where the monster she’s been hiding from for ten years is waiting to claim Hannah as his bride. After all, she’s the one he’s wanted all along.
And she’s the only one who can stop him.
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Meet Allie K. Adams:
Allie K. Adams is the bestselling author of several award-winning stories. An active member of the search and rescue, as well as previously served as a reserve deputy, Allie has firsthand experience in most of the dangers she writes about. Known for her highly erotic, deeply intense suspense romances, she can be found most days in front of her computer, saving the world one sizzling story at a time. She grew up in Seattle and now currently lives in southwest Montana with her husband, two kids, and two fluff ball dogs.
Allie K. Adams’ Web Tracks:
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