Silver Bay by JoJo Moyes
Mike comes to Silver Bay in Australia intent on building a huge 5-star hotel that emphasizes water sports like water skiing and jet skiing in the bay. He stays at the run-down inn of 76-year-old Kathleen Whittier Gaines, her niece Liza, and Liza’s 11-year-old daughter, Hannah. Liza owns a boat and takes passengers out to see dolphins and whales. Mike falls for Liza and Hannah, too, and he sheds some of his big-city London ways the more time he spends there, but too much is already in motion.
Moyes does an amazing job describing what it’s like essentially coexisting with dolphins and migrating whales. Her descriptions of the sea animals’ lives are remarkable.
Last Breath by Robert Bryndza
I’d give this 3.5 stars if I had the half star option. It was good in that, especially toward the last half, I wanted to find out how Erika and her team found the guy who was kidnapping and torturing women. Obviously, you as a reader don’t want any innocent victims to be tortured and killed. However, I think it would have been more of a page turner if we knew more about the backgrounds of his vics or, even more important, the victims he has in his sights.
We saw things from the bad guy’s point of view, which I liked. But when we finally did get the perspective of a woman he tricked into meeting him by making up a fake profile online, she wasn’t a particularly likeable character. She wasn’t unlikeable, but she seemed like a vain, self-absorbed young woman who wanted fame. She was taking classes to get better at her art, but basically I got the idea she was pretty and wanted fame like so many people who, in my opinion, have no talent but want fame anyway. If I’d heard more about her really working on her art, I would have been even more sympathetic. Or if she helped out other people—a grandmother or the homeless, anything that indicated she gave a hoot about people other than herself—I would have cared even more, although by that point in the book, I just wanted to hear about the murderer’s mistakes enabling the cops to catch him.
Another thing that really bothered me was that some of the characters are referred to by their first name and some by their surnames. It’s OK that the lead cop, Erika, was referred to by her first name and the civilians were referred to by their first names, but some of the cops were mentioned either by their first names or their surnames, and there seemed no rhyme or reason to which was which. Even the love interest is referred to by his last name, whereas Erika’s subordinate was John, and some of the people she reported to went by their first names. I found it confusing keeping people straight because of this.
In terms of the cops tracking down the clues, Bryndza did a good job with describing the detective work. I could definitely see this author writing teleplays for the zillions of cop/crime/detective shows on TV.
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.