Thursday, April 23, 2009

Identity Unknown by Suzanne Brockmann **

First of all, I wrote almost the entire review, and then inadvertently closed the window before saving. Shit.

Second of all, I don't feel the book was worth rewriting the review. I'll just say this: after 7 books where Brockmann had me believing the characters were acting in accordance with their background experience and training, she finally slipped in a Waaay Too Stoopid To Live heroine. Here's what I wrote in a post on PBS forum:

So I'm reading along, enjoying the story. Oh No Mr. Bill - the bad guy is around the corner and he's got a gun!!! What does TSTL heroine do when SEAL hero says to get outta there? SHE STORMS THE VILLAIN WHO IS HOLDING THE UZI. And does she have any training in weapons, firearms, survival, rescue? No. She's a cowgirl and she can ride a horse.

Bang! Sigh. Bangbangbang. The first bang is the book on the wall. The last 3 are my head on the desk. But does that end it? NO. I pick the book up, and the villain makes them get in the truck and they drive far far away. All 3 get out, and while SEAL and villain fight, hero yells: Hey Heroine, get in the truck and get outta here! (note: they already called the sheriff, so if she would just LISTEN to the SEAL she could get him and direct Sheriff with gun to them) What does the TSTL heroine do? SHE GOES INTO THE WATER TO HELP THE SEAL.

Yes, you read that right. He's a SEAL and she thinks she can save him while he's fighting a UZI-toting villain IN THE WATER. This is the same heroine who, earlier in the book, was not able to save a small child clinging to a branch in the water.

I did finish the book. The hero has amnesia for most of the book and doesn't know he's a Navy SEAL. He goes to the address in his pocket, a dude ranch in New Mexico where he meets TSTL heroine Becca, Dude Ranch Manager, who tries to save him over and over, like he needs it. Meanwhile, the Team Ten Alpha group guys are looking for Mitch, the Gray Group member/SEAL who has gone missing with the load of plutonium he was using to lure the bad guys. Did Mitch become a turncoat and betray his country?? (no, silly, he has amnesia) All this while Mitch wonders, Am I a convicted felon/murderer/assassin?? (no, silly, you have amnesia but you're a hero Navy SEAL undercover) There's no mystery for us because, duh, we're being told both sides. The only mystery is, what was Brockmann thinking when she had this stoopid heroine try to save a Navy SEAL?

The plot just didn't work for me, and those TSTL moments had me so riled up I wanted to scream. But I still only "didn't like it" (2 stars) as opposed to 1 star/hated it/DNF. Grrrr.

1 comment:

Kristie (J) said...

I don't know if this is a backhanded compliment or not - but I can't think of a better author who sometimes writes heroines I can't stand more than Suzanne Brockman. If I had to list 5 of my all time can't stand heroines - at least 3 would be by her.