NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Nine Years Gone by Chris Culver

3.0 out of 5 stars -- When the past you thought you'd safely hidden comes back to ruin your present...

Steve Hale is thoroughly enjoying his life with newly pregnant wife Katherine and his niece. Everything looks promising with his little family and career as a novelist when he gets a message from someone he should not be hearing from -- an old girlfriend, Tess. The thing is, Steve, his uncle, and his friends helped this girl out of a serious family problem 9 years ago -- they set up her wealthy stepfather, Dominique Girard, to take the blame for her "murder." Her reappearance could ruin everything if people find out she is still alive. But, in fact, Tess does intend to cause trouble -- in the worst way. She feels that Steve ruined her life and she wants it all back.

Although an intriguing premise, this suspense thriller operated on many implausible levels that defied belief. There were too many co-incidences and improbable behaviors and reactions considering the situation, and it finally all basically annoyed, rather than interested, me. I really didn't grow to like any of the characters who were one-dimensional and had nothing that engaged my empathy or concern. There was no moment when I didn't anticipate the actions of Steve despite that "go it alone against the arch psycho Tess" action that occurred. I'm not sure but I feel the author was trying to come up with some kind of convincing anti-hero in Steve and justifying what he and his cohort had done to "save" Tess earlier. I'm not even sure that Tess was reliable enough that I believe her account of what her stepfather actually did or didn't do. She LIES. It was all a muddle and I was just glad to get to the end.

This is the first book by this author that I have read. I might try another, but there were so many instances and small things in the book that he didn't portray accurately that I am not sure. Much of the narrative was "telling" and would go off on a tangent that wasn't relevant to anything and added none of the "local flavor" to the story. Enjoyable enough, but nothing I'd urge on another mystery thriller fan.

Thank you to NetGalley for the e-book ARC to review.

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