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Saturday, December 30, 2006

My review of Reluctant Burglar by Jill Elizabeth Nelson...

Product Description:After her father's murder, Desiree Jacobs stumbles upon an ugly truth---her father was an art thief. Should she turn over the stolen paintings to the feds or surrender the artwork to the bad guys? A death threat warns her not to cooperate with the law. Will she trust God's leading---even if it isn't safe?

My review:
In several ways I'm thoroughly impressed with this novel. Though it's a debut, it started out so well-written that I couldn't tell. That's an accomplishment. The characters seemed real and likeable and the plot was complex. In fact, if I didn't know that the author was a woman, I'd assume a man had written this story at first because it was so graphic and had some very mafia-esque scenes that were not at all feminine. Like the portion that went into his former relationship and betrayal. That was great!!!

I also especially liked the fact that the hero and heroine were both Christians because it made the story all the more interesting. :) There were some tense moments in this story and the romance was very well done. I held my breath more than once. I love it when you aren't sure who the double-crossing mole is and you start to suspect everyone. I also really enjoyed the times when Desi had to break in and swap paintings during her theft job. That was great stuff.

The author also had some good one-liners. For example; She ought to have her brain removed and forensically examined for discombobulated synapses. And one way she described Tony's extreme anger... If steam could escape out his pores, he'd be a toxic cloud. :) Is that great stuff, or what?

On the other end, I found the terrorist's dialogue a bit cheesy-sounding. Maybe it was a disadvantage to this author that I'd read Hell in a Briefcase first because the terrorists in that story were so believable. Or maybe the fact that once Desi stopped thieving and the FBI took over and she became the victim, it didn't work as well for me. I thought the ending was almost too detailed. The humor also seemed misplaced and more feminine. So I went from fear and anxiety at the beginning of the story, to not feeling like I'm really there toward the end. Like I was in a sit-com show. Very strange. I think the dialogue is what killed it. Up until that point I was there. Overall, I'd say I really enjoyed the story and would probably enjoy the next one as well. There was just that weakness toward the end. I think the initial intrigue and the romance were the highlights of this story. I do adore novels with at least one delectable kiss!

Reluctant Burglar was published by Multnomah and released in August 2006.

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