Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tell Me Lies by Jennifer Crusie ***

This is another of the Crusie-audio-glom I did this past week, and finished this one today. It was going along pretty well (especially after I sorta DNFed What the Lady Wants) for the first, oh, maybe half of the story. I was enjoying Crusie's wit and writing, and her characters. Then it turned dark and confusing and frankly I felt the heroine kept making really, REALLY bad decisions so it turned out to be only 3 stars by the end.

OH - plus there's adultery. That's not a deal-breaker for me anymore, but it is for some. And - well, technically, what she does isn't adultery, because SPOILER


her husband was already dead, although she didn't know it.

Well, he was committing adultery too - we think. Actually, maybe he wasn't, but...

This is the story of an unhappy wife whose husband is up to no good - probably cheating on her - and she is planning to divorce him after she finds what she considers pretty good evidence. After all, 5 years ago he had cheated on her.

Maddie lives in Frog Point - a small town where everyone knows everybody else's business within 10 minutes of it happening. She grew up there, and married a local boy, and they have an 8-year-old daughter. 20 years earlier, when she was 18, she did have a one-night-stand with the town bad boy, but came to her senses and never saw him again.

Her mother lives down the street, as does her best friend and her family. Brent - the cheating husband - has family there too - his dad is mayor and hopes for Brent to follow in his footsteps.

Lawd, I hate small towns - I really do - and this is one where it really is portrayed as Not A Good Thing, as opposed to Virgin River (Robyn Carr) and other romance novel small towns.

The One Night Stand Bad Boy comes back to town - C.L. Sturgis. He's apparently carried a torch for Maddie all these years, but the real reason he came to town is because he's some hotshot ACCOUNTANT (woooooo, we know how sexy hotshot accountants are!) who is looking into potential fraud being done by - BRENT the cheating husband.

There's a lot of misdirection - C.L. sees The Best Friend with The Cheating Husband at the bowling alley; the next door neighbor lady who is getting a divorce might have had an affair with The Cheating Husband; and other stuff like that pointing to different people with a bone to pick with Brent. Meanwhile, C.L. and Maddie have the hots for each other, The Cheating Husband punches Maddie in the face twice and then disappears, Maddie's car is rear-ended and totalled, and...

It's a long confusing story, and I liked it at first but then, I dunno, it seemed a lot darker and less humorous as it went on, and Maddie kept making a lot of stupid mistakes, including finding a LOT of damning evidence in her safe deposit box then LEAVING IT THERE and returning the key to its original place at home. ???? OK, maybe taking the child's passport and destroying it was good, but how about destroying the airline ticket as well? Hello?

The narrator was Joyce Bean. She's a pretty good narrator who has done several of Linda Howard's books, but - ok, she has just a slight touch of tongue thrust or something, the barest hint of a lisp. I think the first book I heard by her was Linda Howard's Death Angel and as I recall, I wasn't that happy with her in that book either but the story was so wonderful I soon forgot all about her voice.

oh yeah and there was a dog. The End. 3 stars.

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