Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Matthew 13:44 by Scott Coren

This book left me feeling conflicted - on one hand, it was an addictive read. But on the other hand, it was tied together by a series of coincidences so improbable that I felt like laughing in disbelief (especially at the end).

And no, the parts with the angel (I figured that out way faster than Lucy) were not the unbelievable parts. Those were still ok.

What I found unbelievable was how the "mystery" of Steve death's was solved. Sure, Lucy does go and ask people for information, once or twice, but most of the time, help comes in the form of improbable coincidences. Then again, her getting in trouble was very improbable as well.

You see, Lucy gets in trouble because her husband Steve, who was suffering from brain cancer, was found dead under suspicious circumstances. And without evidence other than the testimony from the villain of the story (Andrew), the police decide that she's a key suspect and decide to charge her. But, even though she's supposedly at the center of an investigation and media storm, for most of the book, you don't feel the presence of the paparazzi or the police. They appear in the beginning to make her feel threatened, then disappear when the other storylines become more important.

I think the problem with the book is that the author chooses to follow two very attention-consuming story lines at the same time. There's the sick-baby-no-money story, and there's the I've-been-wrongfully-accused-of-murder story. Both are interesting, and could probably stand alone. But I think that in a rush to make the two fit into a book that wasn't too long, the author had to use a lot of coincidences. Like re-meeting an old friend who works with the Feds. In particular, the ending felt very rushed. I didn't really understand why it was such a happy ending, but it may just be me.

Despite all the criticism I have, I have to add that the book is a fairly addictive read. When I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It's a fast-paced read, and that's going to appeal to a lot of people.

It may just be me, but I think the story would have been much much better if there were much less coincidences (and if things weren't resolved so quickly - apart from the two main problems, everything else was resolved surprisingly fast), and if the financial strain and police suspicion/hounding by the press was consistently felt throughout the book.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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