Thursday, February 2, 2012


Title/Author: Malice by Lisa Jackson.

Narrated by: Mel Foster and Joyce Bean.

Genre: Thriller.

Publisher: Brilliance Audio.

Source: Library.

Favorite character: Olivia.

SynopsisThe scent is unmistakable - gardenias, sweet and delicate, the same perfume that his beautiful first wife, Jennifer, always wore. Opening his eyes in the hospital room where he's recovering from an accident, New Orleans detective Rick Bentz sees her standing in the doorway. Then Jennifer blows him a kiss and disappears. But it couldn't have been Jennifer. She died 12 years ago....
Once out of the hospital, Bentz begins to see Jennifer everywhere. Could she still be alive? But it was Bentz who identified Jennifer's body after her horrible car wreck, and there had been no question in his mind that it was her crumpled form behind the wheel, her clothes, her wedding ring. He's never doubted it - until now. He can't tell his new wife, Olivia, about the sightings or his secret fear that he's losing his mind. But Olivia is also hiding a secret....

When a copy of Jennifer's death certificate arrives in the mail, emblazoned with a red question mark, Bentz follows the postmark trail to Los Angeles, returning to the painful memories he's tried so hard to forget, and straight into a killer's web.
Someone's been waiting patiently, silently. Someone who knows exactly what happened that night 12 years ago and has been anticipating Bentz's every move. Soon it will be Bentz's turn to suffer for his sins. But he won't be the only one made to pay the ultimate price. For a diabolical killer has now made Olivia the prime
My Thoughts:
I took this out of the library because I had hopes it would be a ghost story. I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t, but I figured I would finish listening because I did become invested in the story and I wanted to find out what was going on.

Unfortunately, I didn't connect with the male protagonist, Rick Bentz.  He is emotional and shows his feelings, but I guess I would have liked to have known a more compassionate side of him.  I think it may have to do with the fact that the author focused primarily on the story.  He shows frustration throughout the story and a gamut of emotions at the end, but I still didn't feel like I knew him. I did like Olivia, his wife.  She is very strong, loyal and doesn’t give up. She doesn’t give up on her husband, their situation or when she is in danger.

I like Joyce Bean's narration better than Mel Foster's.  Her voices were unique to each character. When Foster read for the main character Detective Bentz, it just felt a bit forced.  I liked his voices for the secondary & other minor characters more.

There were a few inconsistencies that pulled me out of the story as well…like the main character would describe another person’s eyes, yet the person had sunglasses on.  One of the minor characters behaves in such a way that I really couldn't believe it, although I know people do and expect ridiculous things.  There is also a lot of telling about certain characters and their past. 

I realized and then confirmed on Goodreads that this book is not so much a sequel but there are other books before it that have to do with the same characters. The book refers to previous events which certainly had me curious, but you can still read/listen to this book and not be lost.

One thing I really enjoyed is the details of the settings.  Jackson did a great job and I could picture the couple's home in New Orleans, the Santa Monica Pier, the getaway that Bentz used to visit with his ex-wife  and the parks and roads where he chased clues and suspects. She is very good at description and the story played out like a movie in my head.

There is another murder mystery running concurrently and I think it is there to throw more twists and questions at the reader.  However, it turned out to be a red herring.  I had a feeling who was behind the mystery but it was still a bit of a surprise.

Although this book didn't work 100% for me, if you are a mystery/thriller junkie or a fan of Lisa Jackson you may want to add this to your list.



Jen | Book Den said...

Aw. It's always disappointing when a could be ghost story turns out to not be a ghost story. :(

I need to send you an email! I'm going to do that here in a few minutes.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

I like lisa's sorry it didn't work for you

Midnyte Reader said...

Kimba88: Have you ever read this one? Maybe you can give me the titles of a few of your favorite Lisa Jackson books.

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