DEAD WRONG BY MARIAH STEWART – MISSING “SOMETHING”

Dead Wrong by Mariah Stewart

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Pros: Held my interest with likeable characters

Cons: No mystery, no surprises, no oomph

Dead Wrong by Mariah Stewart held my interest, but it could have been even better.

A serial killer is on the loose.  The only connection the victims have: They are all listed in the phone book as M. Douglas.  Now, Mara Douglas fears she’s next on the list.  Good thing her sister knows an ex-agent who happens to have free time on his hands.  He’ll come by and protect her until the killer is found.  And, hey, maybe a little romance can develop, too.

The book was interesting, and the characters fairly likeable.  Of course, we don’t want anything bad to happen to Mara so we read on to find out how it all ends.  Along the way, we get some romance, and even a laugh or two, despite the dire circumstances.

We get plenty of background on everyone.  Mara, the agent, and the bad guy are all well-developed with fully fleshed stories that let us get to “know” them.

So, what’s wrong?  Well, we readers know exactly who’s doing the killing and why.  There is not one shred of mystery for us to solve. And while there’s nothing wrong with this type of story, I do feel that the author needs to give us something.  Something to look forward to.  Something unexpected.  Some kind of twist or surprise or just anything other than a straight, linear progression from start to finish with nary a detour along the way.

But Stewart gives us none of that.  We know from the very first pages who’s involved, and why.  There’s nothing for us to do but sit back and wait for the authorities to catch up.  So we follow along with the investigation but I can’t help but feel like there just should have been more.

Dead Wrong is the first book in a trio – followed by Dead Certain and Dead Even.  I would be interested in trying those other books.  After all, I did enjoy this book.  I just hope that when it comes to actual mystery, those books will have just a bit more oomph.

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