I put off writing about this book for a few days because, frankly, I just don’t have much to say about it. It’s not great; it’s not terrible. There just isn’t really anything outstanding about it either way.
Deadly Illusions by Brenda Joyce is the seventh of Joyce’s Deadly series, which features sleuth Francesca Cahill. In Deadly Illusions, we find Francesca in 1902. The heir to a fortune, Francesca is planning to marry the most eligible bachelor in New York: Calder Hart.
Because of his know philandering, however, Francesca wonders if Hart will bore of her after their marriage, all the while Hart is concerned that he will never be able to change his ways and be faithful to Francesca. Add to it Francesca’s latest case, searching for a murderer dubbed “The Slasher,” and Francesca’s former romantic relationship with her boss, and it seems like a perfect recipe for an intriguing murder mystery historical romance.
But somewhere along the way, Joyce manages to muck up the story. There are way too many different characters of which to keep track and way too many storylines to try to follow.
There also are too many untied strings at the end. I realize that Deadly Illusions is part of a series, but the ends Joyce leaves loose don’t really give me a reason to continue reading the next book. I can understand cliffhangers if they have a purpose, but the weak storylines Joyce chooses not to resolve seem a bit pointless. At the same time, she chooses to include storylines that seem unnecessary and pointless, as well.
In addition, the dialogue is awkward, the characters are a bit flat and feel almost rushed, and there just really isn’t much to get into in this book. But, as I said, at the same time, there isn’t really anything appalling. It’s just kind of… meh.
I can’t really think of any overreaching themes in this book. Maybe faith in love would be a theme, if you stretch. I can’t think of anything that makes the book stand out; I can’t think of anything I really took away from it when I closed the back cover.
It doesn’t take me for me to get into a story and think about it when I’m not reading. For me, books are page-turners more often than they are not, but this story just didn’t do it for me.
Title: Deadly Illusions | By: Brenda Joyce | Published: HQN Books, Reprint 2010 | ISBN: 978-0373775415 | RLB Grade: D |
Find it on Amazon: Deadly Illusions (Hqn)