Saturday, January 17, 2015

Virtue Falls by Christina Dodd

Author: Christina Dodd
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date of publication: September 2014

Twenty-three years ago, Misty Banner was brutally slashed to death in her home in Virtue Falls, Washington. Her husband was convicted of the murder. Their four year old daughter Elizabeth witnessed the crime, but has no memory of the killing. Now, two decades later, Elizabeth is back in Virtue Falls. She soon discovers her father is innocent. The real killer is still out there. And her investigation has stirred dark and deadly resentments that could provoke in another bloody murder—her own...

 Elizabeth is a geologist who has taken a job at a dig site in her old town of Virtue Falls.  She has returned to be closer to her father who has been stricken with Alzheimer's.  He is out of prison and living in a nursing home.  Her father was accused of murdering her mother.  Elizabeth has no real memory of the night Misty died or who killed her. The town of Virtue Falls is small with a long memory. It also sits on a major fault line.When an earthquake and tsunami uncover new evidence from the past, she decides that things just don't seem right about what transpired that night and she wants to get to the bottom of things. 

I was looking forward to reading Virtue Falls, but sadly it didn't give up to my expectations.  While I did enjoy the overall story,  all I could really say was that it was just OK. The one thing that I did like was the mystery. The final reveal was cleverly done.  There were a number of suspects and I didn't figure it out right away, so bonus points for that one. I also thought some of the peripheral characters added some flavor to the story.

Having said all of that, there were a couple of things that I didn't like about book.  I thought it was a bit long and dragged in places.  I also really didn't care for Elizabeth at first. She kind of felt unrealistically rigid and cold.  I thought she took unnecessary risks that had me rolling my eyes. I did like the relationship between her and Garrick.  Their split up was clearly due to a lack of communication and I was kind of rooting for them to get back together.  Which brings me to my disappointment in the love scenes.  I know that this author can write a good love scene.  There was a lot of  pretty explicit build up and then the scene would cut to the afterglow. That was puzzling to me and I kind of felt a little cheated.

I'm not saying this is a bad read.  I do recommend giving it a try.  I just don't think it's her best effort.  I'll probably give the second book, Obsession Falls a try when it comes out later this year. 

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