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Monday, March 23, 2009

Betrayals by Carla Neggers ($7.99) (c1990)

In the romantic suspense genre, Carla Neggers' books are usually reliably well written and enjoyable, following the traditional romantic formula. Her characters are defined and "normal," so although the women and men are good-looking, they are also intelligent, ethical and independent minded. The storylines are fast-paced and the plots are credible. The characters are often related to characters in previous books, so there is a sense of revisiting someone you know and liked and being updated about their lives after the end of their stories. Neggers' books satisfy one's indulgence for a guilt-free romantic romp with substance.

That said, Betrayals fails hopelessly to come up to the standard I have expected in a Carla Neggers story. This book was originally released in 1990, and what a difference 19 years have made in honing Ms. Neggers' writing skills! The book spans approximately 30 years, revolving around two families that are linked by secrets and tragedy. The irritating central players all have various pieces of the puzzle, but are unwilling to share to bring a timely solution to this overlong, tedious story, preferring to "go it alone" to resolve the mystery. The only subplot missing from this story was the traditional meeting at midnight in the unlit tower on a dark, stormy night.

Not a book I would recommend.

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