Tuesday, June 5, 2012

E-Reading: Book Review of The River Knows by Amada Quick

Name of Book: The River Knows

Author: Amanda Quick

ISBN: 0399154175

Publisher: Putnam

Type of book: Victoria Era, 1800s?-1900s?, mystery, murder, suicide, nothing as it seems, romance, adult

Year it was published: 2007

Summary:

The first kiss occurred in a dimly lit hallway on the upper floor of Elwin Hastings's grand house. Louisa never saw it coming....

Of course, Anthony Stalbridge couldn't possibly have had romantic intentions. The kiss was an act of desperation meant to distract the armed guard from catching the pair in a place they did not belong. After all, Louisa Bryce, in her dull maroon gown and gold-rimmed spectacles, was no man's idea of an alluring female. The only thing the two interlopers have in common is a passionate interest in the private affairs of Mr. Hastings-a prominent member of Society whom they both suspect of hiding terrible secrets. Now, brought together by their ruse, Anthony and Louisa are united in their efforts to find the truth.

Each has a reason for the quest. Anthony's fianc�e was said to have thrown herself into the Thames-but Anthony has his own suspicions. Louisa-whose own identity is shrouded in layers of mystery-is convinced that Hastings has a connection to a notorious brothel. When Anthony successfully cracks Hastings's hidden safe-and discovers incriminating evidence-it appears that both their instincts were correct.

Yet Hastings is hiding far more than jewels and ledger books. Bringing him to justice will be more perilous than they anticipate-and their partnership will be more heated than either one expects. For it is not only Anthony's curiosity that Louisa arouses, and the two share something else: a thrilling attraction to danger. . . .

 From the triple-threat author who also hits bestseller lists under the names Jayne Ann Krentz and Jayne Castle, this is a delightful new romp filled with suspense and wit-and the steamy Victorian passion her devoted readers love.

Characters:

Despite the lack of chemistry or interest in plot, the characters all strike me as fascinating people that deserved to live up more to what the author served. I especially enjoyed Anthony's family and wish that more could have been told about them or that they'd make more appearances. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy the heroine for one reason or another and somehow, despite the author portraying her as kind of a feminist, she really didn't strike me that way.

Theme:

Nothing is what seems and be careful

Plot:

This is third person narrative from both Louisa's and Anthony's point of view, although few characters also get a point of view such as Elwin. The romance felt flat to me as well as formulaic. I felt that there was nothing special or unique about it, sorry to say. The two are working together to solve a mystery. I also couldn't feel the built up of chemistry between the couple which caused the novel to sag. It seemed that he liked her because the author wanted him to like her instead of causing me to feel that attraction vibrating through the pages.

Author Information:

(from goodreads.com)
born
March 28, 1948 in Borrego Springs, California, The United States

gender
female

website
http://www.krentz-quick.com/

genre
Romance

About this author

Pseudonym of Jayne Ann Krentz

Jayne Ann Castle was born on March 28, 1948 in Borrego Springs, California. Her mother, Alberta Castle, raised her with her two brothers, Stephen and James. In 1970, she obtained a B.A in History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and later she obtained a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University, where she met Frank Krentz, an engineer. After her graduation, they married and moved to the Virgin Islands. She worked in the Duke University library system, where she began to write her first romance novels. The marriage moved to Seattle, Washington, where they continue living.

Now, Jayne Ann Castle Krentz with her seven pennames is considered a pillar in the contemporary romance genre. For some years, she only uses three pennames for each of three different periods from time: "Jayne Ann Krentz" (her married name) from the present, "Jayne Castle" (her birth name) from the future and her most famous penname: "Amanda Quick" from the past. She is famous for her work ethic, beginning her writing by 7 am six days a week. Her heroines never are damsels in hardships, they are often heroes. Her novels also contain mystery or paranormal elements.

Enthusiastic of the romantic genre, she has always defended its importance. To help educate the public about the romantic genre she became the editor and a contributor to Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance, a non-fiction essay collection that won the prestigious Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies. She established the Castle Humanities Fund at UCSC's University Library to allow the library to purchase additional books and has given money to 15 Seattle-area elementary schools to enhance their library budgets. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Writers Programs at the University of Washington extension program.


Opinion:

The reason I chose this book is because of the title. How mysterious and fascinating. I thought it would be a  well-written novel. I did know it would be a mystery, but I thought it would be more high class. Instead the mystery turned out to be predictable (when Louisa has that encounter with a prostitute, I already wondered if it was a certain character that should have been dead...) while I have enjoyed learning a few things about the Victorian Era, it didn't make it up to reading the book. The novel struck me also as very formulaic and predictable. The characters have potential to be interesting but none rise up to it, and I've had difficulty understanding certain things. I also found the book to be a bit boring in all honesty.

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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