Trying to write a review in my messy office while keeping track of a 10 week old goldendoodle puppy and trying to choke down my latest attempt at a homemade "diet" shake is... something of a challenge. But I am determined to do it. For you. Cuz that's just the type of girl I am. So... let's go back a couple months in new release history to dish on Terri Blackstock's DOWNFALL.
Okay, that sounds bad, doesn't it? As far as I know, Terri is just fine and has not, in fact, suffered a downfall herself. Downfall just happens to be the title of her book and is the third book in her Intervention series.
HERE'S THE SITCH
(from the back cover)
Emily Covington has turned her life around after the fallout of her drug addiction, but her family still has trouble trusting her. Though Emily completed a yearlong treatment program and has been sober for almost a year beyond that, her mother walks on eggshells around her, fearing she'll relapse. After her behavior during her drug years, Emily has a lot to prove.
When Emily and Lance discover a homemade bomb under Emily's car, and she learns the wife of one of her friends was murdered that same morning, she begins to connect the dots.
A conversation she had with two men, an Alfred Hitchcock movie, and a plan for a double murder all conspire for one explosive ride. Emily is the only one who can identify the killer and save the life of the next potental victim. But will anyone believer her?
As she frantically works to solve this puzzle and convince authorities of the truth, Emily finds the focus of the investigation turned back on her. She's played right into the killer's hands... and he won't stop until more lives are destroyed.
HITS & MISSES
As you know, I'm a glutton for romance and would have liked a little more in this novel; but it is important to note that this book wasn't being marketed as a romance per se... so: no harm, no foul and, unfortunately for us EIR addicts, no sighs of rapture. But... it's definitely a great book and, although it doesn't entirely satisfy my need for a little "R" found in most EIR reviews it is both Edgy and Inspirational, so... let's have at it!
I read this novel back in February, but being that it's a little light on the romance, I didn't get around to writing the review until... you guessed it: now -- while I'm still choking down this rather disgusting concoction that I am too cheap to dump down the drain. But I digress...
Even though Downfall doesn't have a lot of romantic action (one character does carry a diamond ring around in his pocket for most of the novel, waiting for the right moment to pop the question) I can wholeheartedly give a thumbs up. Here's why:
1. Emily is a believable protagonist; a recovering drug addict who has really turned her life around and wants to stay sober. Her point of view is entirely human and sympathetic. Even though most readers' addictions (face it, we all have them. Is that chocolate I smell on your breath?!) may not be as immediately dangerous as Emily's, the draw of drugs is written in such an identifiable way that anyone can feel the struggle Emily undergoes to deny the pull of this sort of escape and pleasure in her life.
2. Downfall is the third book in the Intervention series and I have not read the other two. I found that Downfall stands alone perfectly well, but it initiates such a bonding with the characters (and what has brought them to this point) that you want to go back and read the other novels for no other reason than simple affection for the characters.
3. You just can't figure out who the bad guy is. I love a suspense novel that keeps me guessing. Downfall does just that.
TO READ... OR NOT?
I say... read it. It's a quick read that keeps you interested in the characters and the resolution of the novel's plot while drawing you in to the history of the rest of the series. Blackstock fans have another winner on their hands.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN A COPY?
Visit my POST about Pinning by May 8, 2012 and leave a comment pertaining to the discussion there and you could win a copy of Terri Blackstock's Downfall and two other new(ish) novels!
And just in case you were wondering: it is my educated opinion that spinach, lactose free cottage cheese, strawberries, bananas, and Nutella should never be put in a blender together. Just sayin'.