Bruised Series, #2

Captivated is a disorganized collection of over the top plot points weakly strung together with little to no character development and bad dialogue. This story had so much potential to be a good romantic thriller if the author had just taken a few minutes to decide what the focal point of the story was going to be. The love triangle is poorly written and completely unnecessary as the author does not take the time to build any sort of chemistry between Lisa and her possible love interests. There is entirely too much shoved into this story and little is successfully executed.

The few elements working for the story are the relationships between Lisa and Dee and Lisa and Jake. Both characters balance out Lisa’s manic behavior with much needed even-temperedness. Jake is a sweet and supportive boyfriend with a cool head on his shoulders. And Dee is caring, tough, and genuine. I found Lisa, on the other hand to be an emotionally unstable basket case that is heavily propped up by the secondary characters. With all of Lisa’s issues, I found it very hard to believe that she was able to get her pants on every morning without bursting into tears, let alone solve murders. The only time I was actually compelled to care about Lisa as an individual was when she was at an impromptu dinner with her therapist. She seemed warm, vulnerable, and seemed aware that she had a problem. Unfortunately, that scene ended way too quickly and easily segued back to her being a delusional basket case. The issue I have with Lisa is that the author chooses to go to the extremes with the character’s actions. I am sensitive to the fact that Lisa is slowly unraveling as the killer adds to his body count, but I just feel that the author should have used a subtler hand in conveying her deterioration.

The ending, with its confluence of actual detective work and sudden violence from an unexpected character was well done. In hindsight the clues were laid out early on in the story, but I still enjoyed the ironic plot twist toward the end. I was hoping for another plot twist to make the story more gratifying, but this will do. I cannot recommend Captivated in its current state because the flaws out-weigh the positive components, but I may consider reading another title from the author in the future.

Book Blurb for Captivated

When she first lays eyes on Mya Riley’s slashed up body, Baltimore Detective Lisa Swanson is certain that the Sandman, a ruthless serial killer from her past has reemerged. Lisa dives headfirst into the case with her partner Dee, and lovesick Winston Lewis, a detective who grows more captivated with Lisa by the day.

The Sandman wreaks bloodthirsty havoc throughout the city, and this time he is determined to make Lisa his victim.

Armed with intense hatred for the Sandman and a stifling fear of who might end up dead next, Lisa struggles to solve the case by the book. But when the Sandman switches up his plan and goes after her lover Jake…Lisa ignores all the rules.

Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2014 2.50