Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Soul Reader

Summary:  The two people Ward McNulty most wished he could forget were the woman he once loved and the man he still hated.

He succeeded sometimes by smothering their memory under mounds of activity-his physical rehabilitation, looking for a job, and staving off foreclosure. But try as he might, it was always there-just under the surface, like smoldering embers embedded in layers of ash, needing only a breath of oxygen to burst into flame. And that's exactly what happens one sunny Saturday afternoon, when Carrie Hope unexpectedly breezes back into his life.

It is a year after his father's murder when Carrie asks Ward to assist her in writing a book about the North Beach Project, the money-laundering scheme that led to his father's death. Ward initially turns her down. He knows that reopening the investigation would be dangerous for three reasons. First, it could cost them their lives-the identity of the man behind the scheme remains a mystery, and he would do almost anything to keep it that way. Secondly, it may cost Ward his very soul if he gets sucked back into the vortex of hatred and revenge that he has just escaped. And finally, Ward does not know if he or Carrie could survive falling in love and hurting each other yet again.

But when Carrie decides to pursue the investigation without him, Ward is faced with a difficult choice: he can allow her to go it alone and possibly get killed . . . or he can join her in hopes of being able to protect her. Ward's uncanny insight might give him an edge-and allow him to see the evil coiled in the jumbled foliage of the North Beach Project before it has a chance to strike. He decides to collaborate with her on the book, but on his terms, and thereby launches a series of events that span the globe-from Colombia to Rome-and make Ward and Carrie the target of the most dangerous assassin in the western hemisphere, a man known only as "Culebra."

It is in seeking justice that Ward discovers mercy-and love-once again.

My Take: I had no idea this was a sequel to In Sight when I started reading it. The author did a great job filtering in the necessary back story from the first book so I never felt lost - just intrigued enough that I still want to read it. :o)

The plot in the book kept me flipping pages to find out what was going to happen. It was exciting and tense. I loved all the twists and turns. The action felt realistic and intense at the same time.

I liked Carrie and Ward - and the romantic tension between them felt natural. The secondary characters were complex and interesting as well. I especially appreciated the villains. I wish some of the characters had been described a little better/sooner though. I went through about half the book without figuring out one of them was African American. He's described exiting a plane and I thought to myself that an established character should already have a description by then - because we've already made our own picture of all the players at that point.

That's one very small point in a great book. This book has a lot to offer. I want to thank the publisher for providing my copy in exchange for my honest review.

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