Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lying Eyes by Amy Atwell

TITLE: Lying Eyes
AUTHOR: Amy Atwell
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 103k)
GENRE: Contemporary romantic suspense
COST: $5.39

Jewelry designer/store owner Iris Fortune is trying to lead a normal, stable life, but her magician father keeps finding ways of disrupting it. His latest scheme involves mythological Russian gems, a thief named Mickey who makes her heart pound more than her lawyer fiancĂ©, a strong-willed rabbit named Edgar, and oh yeah, two half sisters she never knew she had…

There is so much going on in this romantic suspense, it’s almost tough to know where to start. The premise at the beginning is simple enough. Mickey, a hired thug, snatches Cosmo, an aging magician, because he hasn’t followed through on his end of a corrupt business deal. It’s up to Mickey to find the gems Cosmo was supposed to turn over, except Cosmo manages to get away. Mickey then goes to Cosmos’s daughter Iris, the owner of a jewelry store at the Bellagio, to see if she knows anything. Iris is engaged to a lawyer with political aspirations, a boring, safe choice to counter the less than predictable life she had growing up. Iris gets a call from her security company about an unauthorized entry, and when she realizes it has to be Cosmo, lies to protect him. Thus starts a long, convoluted race to find the gems Cosmo is withholding.

The problem isn’t that the plot isn’t interesting. It certainly is. The problem rests in just how many people get involved in it. Right away, we’re thrown into the thick of things, because in addition to Mickey and Iris, there’s Hunter the cop, Allie and Cory (Iris’s half-sisters), the other thugs Mickey works with, Turner the hitman, and the Boss who’s behind it at all. By the story’s end, we get even more characters. It’s not just trying to keep them all straight. There are scenes in so many different POVs (only one per scene most of the time, thank god), that it’s often hard to make emotional connections to any of them.

Thankfully, enough time is spent with Mickey and Iris to recognize them as the central pairing. Mickey is charmingly roguish and capable of pulling Iris out of her safe little shell. She’s intelligent and just wary enough to be believable, but I did feel that she got lost in the shuffle quite often. They have strong chemistry, and I loved how he was able to get her to relax.

Between all this, however, are scenes that often drag on too long (seriously, losing Edgar in the gardens lasted forever), and some that seemed completely extraneous altogether. I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if it had been more tightly focused, rather than allowed to ramble on where it did. It worked to keep me guessing as to what would happen next, but beyond that, I was left fairly unsatisfied.


7/10 – Clean editorially, but some scenes drag on for far too long and the huge cast does little but muddy the waters


7/10 – Charming and roguish


7/10 – Has a tendency to get lost in the shuffle of more colorful characters, but nothing awful about her

Entertainment value

7/10 – This would’ve ranked higher if certain parts had dragged it down

World building

9/10 – Extensive and fully realized



No comments: