Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: The Watson Evidence by Rosalyn Wraight

The Watson Evidence (A Detective Laura McCallister Lesbian Mystery #4)
By Rosalyn Wraight
July 14th 2011
281 pgs
Pub: Don't Waste Daylight

In recent weeks, two teenage boys have jumped to their deaths from Granger Bridge, and now, another one is missing. Detective Laura McCallister is frustrated and desperate to find a way to stop the deadly succession.

Meanwhile, a County deputy summons her to the hospital with the hope that she can ID an unconscious accident victim. After surviving a fiery wreck, the woman’s only possessions: $10,000 cash, and McCallister’s business card in her back pocket. Is there ever a good reason to have a detective’s business card?

Not knowing who the woman is, McCallister waits for the mystery to solve itself with the woman’s awakening. But, things don’t prove quite that simple. In fact, they become so convoluted that McCallister must endure some of the darkest moments of her life. This time, the mystery exists inside her own self, and the skills she instinctually relies upon for resolution seem far beyond her capabilities.

I started reading this particular detective series a couple of years ago and all have been reviewed here on LVLM or Goodreads in case you’re curious. I happen to be really fond of Laura McCallister as a character and have enjoyed reading these books due to it. This book was good as well even though I had some minor issues with it.

Unlike in the last three books, this story revolves mostly around Laura’s personal life, rather than some mystery or case she’s working on. Although a mystery she’s gotten sucked into and her personal life are connected in this case.

On the one hand, I liked this because there is more detail about a character I like. Kind of like when you like someone and you want to know more about them. However, for the purposes of the story as a whole, I felt sometimes there was too much personal emoting/dialogue that left the plot and mystery part, the exciting part really, lacking.

I was really sucked in by the first part of the book. There are several mysteries going on that Laura is dealing with that piqued my curiosity about what’s going on. It starts out as a traditional detective novel, which I liked. There’s been a succession of teenage suicides on a local bridge that Laura wants to stop, and a woman who was in an accident and has amnesia is found to have Laura’s business card on her.

The main mystery going on is the amnestic woman, even though the rash of suicides is how the book starts out. Although it’s not really a case that Laura needs to work on, because of this woman having Laura’s business card, Laura tries to figure out what’s going on with her. As Laura tries to help the woman remember anything about who she is, she comes to a painful conclusion that throws her into a lot of emotional turmoil as she’s pulled into her own painful past. This in turn causes her to make a rookie mistake that almost kills her. She is then forced to deal with long suppressed feelings, which she doesn’t want to do.

OK, so that story line was very intriguing to me. It unfolded slowly enough to keep up mystery and tension. However, how it all resolved and come to a head still left me with many questions about why some characters acted the way they did. Some of it just didn’t make any sense to me, or seemed illogical. A little more psychological motivation of the other characters would have helped I think. Laura’s personal journey is interesting though, and that kept me going.

The other mystery story line also left me wondering what that was all about. I kept thinking there was going to be a linkup between the two threads or some other connection to the main plot, but that didn’t happen. I felt there should have been some explanation as to why it took up as much book space as it did since there seemed to be a suggestion of possibly something more sinister going on. I think this would have been a cleaner, neater story if that part had been left out since it distracted a bit from the focus of the book. But YMMV.

It’s actually kind of hard to categorize this book. I can’t say it’s really a mystery because it doesn’t solely focus on the mystery in the traditional mystery/detective book sense. I can’t say it’s a romance on any level, but a lot of the dialogue between Laura and Holly, her partner, is about their relationship, their life together and Laura’s emotional state. It bordered on being a little too mushy for my taste. But I can’t be nitpicky about that because I do feel that a lot of readers will love that; will love the expressions of a deep emotional connection between them.

Overall though, I enjoyed this book. It flows nicely and at a fast pace, and there is just enough intrigue to keep it interesting and compelling to read. Laura grows as a person quite a bit in this story, which also added to my enjoyment. I hope there’s another Laura McCallister book coming; I’ll definitely read it. 

Heat Level: 0 

Rating: Really liked

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