Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review: Fool Me Twice

So...I kinda feel like linking to Melanie Goldmund and Gamila's comments on the Summer Book Trek link and then saying, "Ditto," because their reviews were spot on. But Fool Me Twice is a good book and totally deserves additional praise.

This is a twisty, turny thriller that starts tense and rarely lets up. The plot centers on twins, the gullible and people-pleasing Megan and the cunning Kristen. Kristen has masterminded a plan to inherit the very lucrative estate of their long lost ailing aunt, Evelyn. Kristen entices Megan into impersonating her in their aunt's home as her caregiver with the promise of a half million dollars. For Megan, this represents a chance to escape the clutches of their manipulative mother and begin pursuing her own dreams. Unfortunately, Kristen isn't the only one engaging in deception and double cross here and when Megan's new friend is kidnapped, the intricate plot details build to an explosive ending as Megan must untangle herself from a deadly web of deceit.

My favorite thing about this book was that Stephanie Black maintains a believable tension througout the story and skillfully weaves details and clues into the narrative so seamlessly, you don't realize their importance until much later. And yet they're there all along. There were a couple of details that I felt merited a little more explanation because they come off as kind of convenient but they were pretty minor and in no way disrupt the story.

Because this is a very plot-driven book, I found myself wishing that some of the major characters were drawn with a little more nuance. I do have to agree with some other comments that Megan was a little too passive and easily manipulated. I understand that it's just her character's personality and it's probably hard to write a strong victim, but I can wish. However, on balance, the characters were consistent and believable, so it wasn't a sticking point for me. Trevor Drake, his mother, and Doctor Gail felt like the most fully realized characters. Aunt Evelyn was truly scary when her motive was revealed and I loved the suspense in the final moments of the story. I was totally riveted.

This easily measures up to and, in plenty of instances, surpasses the suspense that I read in the general market. One thing that I thought worked so well in this story is that it's the kind of thing that could happen to anyone, not just a cop or a spy or a special agent. I will absolutely use this as a tool in my new quest to introduce my friends to LDS fiction and would definitely recommend this as a gripping and entertaining summertime read.

Grade: B+

For other reviews, check here, here, and here.


Tristi Pinkston said...

Great review -- I enjoyed this book as well.

Hey, I'm putting together a virtual book tour for an author friend of mine and wonder if you'd like to review the book for your blog. Would you pop me a note at tristi AT tristipinkston.com and I'll fill you in?

Kimberly said...

What a well written reivew! Makes me want to read the book, but without the all too gullible belief I will love it so much I'll buy it for all my friends and family for Christmas!

Karlene said...

I loved this book! One of my favs.