Thursday, August 21, 2008

#23 Dancing Above the Waves by Susan Walerstein

My Rating: 5 out of 10 stars

Jack McCalister is a wealthy businessman living his life between two homes—a sprawling estate on the fictional Cape Cod island of Clary's Cove and a grand mansion in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. One foggy morning, while rushing to make the ferry from the island back to Boston, he accidentally hits a teenage girl who had run into the street right in front of his car. Scared and not knowing what to do, he flees the scene without stopping and doesn't report the accident to anyone, hoping no one saw what he did.

But someone else did see what happened... and they plan to use the knowledge to get what they want out of Jack...

This book was alright, though didn't really have me on the edge of my seat. Billed as a suspense thriller, it contained a little too much romance and drama for my liking which made the genre categorization seem a bit off; my idea of suspense thrillers being more Koontz-like. I feel this book read more like a general fiction title actually.

I immediately picked up on was the fact that this a first work for the author. I found the descriptions a bit over done and the storytelling a bit formulaic. The overly descriptive parts wouldn't have bothered me as much if there weren't so many of them in parts which had nothing to do with the story—who really cares how many cups of oil Erica uses in her salad?—or would go off into another time and place right in the middle of the current time line which sometimes made my eyes glaze over. However, this obviously didn't bother other readers as much as it did me, as evidenced by its several good reviews at Amazon.

As a matter of fact, there were times where the extra descriptions served the author well. A born and bred Boston girl myself (I live in the suburbs now), I immediately recognized the locations and landmarks, and even the local customs and mannerisms of the people, in the writing. Some things about New England are very distinctive, and in this regard, the extra detail employed here worked well to enhance the entire sense of place in the story, and give it that unique New England feel.

So despite my initial reservations, I decided to dig in my heels and continue reading, and I found things picked up after the first forty or so pages as the story began to sufficiently hold my interest. I can't say this was one of my favorite reads, and it was a bit outside my usual genre, but in the end it turned out to be a vaguely satisfying read nonetheless.

BookCrossing journal page for this book