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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Damaged by Pamela Callow

2.0 out of 5 stars Boring and predictable., July 8, 2010
By Denise "DC" (Missouri, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Damaged (Mass Market Paperback)
This novel was melodramatic romantic suspense at less than its best. The premise: someone is killing and dismembering young girls. Is there a connection to the body parts/tissue procurement industry? Who is involved in the dastardly plot? It's an attempt at a legal/medical thriller but there's not much law and much less medicine.

The protagonist, attorney Kate Lange, is definitely an angst ridden would-be heroine whose preoccupation with a tragedy that occurred when she was a teenager continues to haunt her despite her success. The reader is treated to frequent long stretches of internal dialogue where Kate obsesses about her past and thrashes about in the wellspring of her guilt. The other characters in the book were no more interesting and were poorly developed caricatures of police detective, managing partner in a legal firm, funeral home director, greedy lawyer, mad scientist, etc. I didn't like or care about any of them. All the men were basically lusting after Kate and the "romance" was completely absent unless you count "longing" looks and "heated" gazes. The author's attempt to insert subtle messages about medico-legal ethics, tissue donation, and the use of cadaveric materials for transplant were annoying and quite transparent. In addition, there seems to be obvious effort to get the reader to feel sorry for poor Kate who is bumbling around in her mistaken and misguided investigation without, of course, involving the police who should be handling the matters. I found her insipid and irritating as a main character and won't be reading the sequel in this series, INDEFENSIBLE, due out in January 2011.

Kate makes one stupid decision after another. Please, authors, can any one write a suspense thriller where the heroine does not end up in the killer's clutches?? Surely there are more realistic ways to solve the crime than this old and tired climax where the (usually) female main character stumbles headlong into an investigation and manages to almost become a victim?

As far as I'm concerned, I recommend that thriller lovers skip this debut and the series.

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