Title: Play Dead
Author: Meryl Sawyer
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 1, 2010
List Price: $7.99
Blurb: After returning from a secret trek to Costa Rica, surf shop heiress Hayley Fordham discovers a her car had been blown up while a friend was using it and everyone now believes she’s dead. FBI agent Ryan Hollister has made it his mission to find out what happened to Hayley and is surprised when she walks through her condo door while he is looking for clues. Now it’s a race to find out who tried to kill Hayley before they try again.
Why I chose this title: I’ve read Meryl Sawyer in the past, and I wondered what she was up to these days. I also found the premise intriguing and full of romantic suspense potential.
Review: I’m sad to report this is far from one of the author’s better novels. I found the hero and the heroine to ultimately be unsympathetic. Every time I came close to believing in either of them, they would do something stupid and/or out of the character they had been set up to be up to that point. The point where I almost flung my Sony Reader against the wall was when the hero thought, “There were times when he wished Hayley was just a dumb blonde.” The heroine routinely displayed TSTL tendencies. To avoid being spoilerish, many of these moments related to her saying “yes, I will hold myself back from the person you think may have had a hand in killing me” on one page, and three pages later going “but this person is *so* sincere, they could not have done anything wrong!” While the secondary characters felt more consistently drawn, they almost existed solely to be props allowing for frequent instances of infodumping. I found the pacing to be erratic, along with the characters’ thought processes, and both to be illogical at times. At one point I shouted in the privacy of my space “how on earth does she know that’s what he’s thinking?!” I kept reading in the vain hope the story would be redeemed, but such was not the case. The author’s voice can be entertaining, and there are readers who enjoy a good yarn. I would prefer to recommend another of the author’s titles over this one, but if someone is looking for strict beach reading in the romantic suspense line, this would be an option.
Final thought: Primarily for rabid fans of the author who want to read everything she has written.