24 February 2014

Christmas Countdown (Lost, Inc., Book 2; Love Inspired Suspense No. 320)


Synopsis from back of book: A simple trip home for the holidays is all former FBI profiler Maggie Mason wants. But a serial killer has other plans. Trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Maggie finds an ally in Lost, Inc. with private investigator Dr. Ian Crane. The handsome widower is reluctant to love again, and the last thing Maggie wants is to put Ian in the line of fire, too. Love could cost them everything...unless they can find their way to each other in time for Christmas.

First line: Something wasn't right.

Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, published by Love Inspired Books, 2012; I think I acquired this book through my subscription with Harlequin Reader Service.

My thoughts: That first line pretty much summed up my feelings about this book. I struggled to get into the story. I couldn't understand how this woman could have been running and hiding from this serial killer for so long, why every time she moved to a new place, rented a house, he soon found her and she had to run again. I kept thinking why does she keep getting a new phone when she knows he's gonna eventually trace it? Of course, it was then revealed that she wasn't just hiding from him, but also hunting him, and trying to keep him distracted looking for her so he won't go after her friends and family or any new victims.

While trying to stay a step ahead of this serial killer, there is also a stalker on the loose. I think this storyline was actually a continuation from a previous book in the series (which I have not read), where a stalker was threatening Maggie's brother's girlfriend, but had in the end been arrested and was now in jail. He's referred to as Mr. Blue Shoes, because he wore blue shoes, a key piece of evidence in his arrest. Except now it's apparently occurred to someone to have the man arrested try on those blue shoes, and guess what? They don't fit. So he's obviously not the stalker. In the wake of O.J. and "if the gloves don't fit, you must acquit", I find it hard to believe that the size of the suspect's feet and the size of the shoes would not have been compared during his trial before he could be found guilty. And then, an officer commented to Maggie that the suspect had been calling his victim (who was his ex-girlfriend) every day, trying to convince her he was innocent. This man is in jail and he's allowed to call his victim? Every day? Would that really happen?

I never connected with any of the characters, and when I put the book down and picked it up later I didn't always remember exactly what had happened in the previous pages. Fortunately, as with most of these Love Inspired books, it was a quick read, and it did have a sweet and satisfying HEA in the end.

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