Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross

This book was given to me by my mother-in-law. She was getting rid of a bunch of books that she had read, but I couldn't let them pass through our house without reading them myself (it's a terrible addiction, this need to read everything in the world).

I've never read anything by Andrew Gross. He's written a couple of books with James Patterson, but I haven't read any of those, either. So I didn't know quite what to expect going in to this novel. I knew it was about the Witness Protection Program, but that was about it. Kate Raab's father was a gold merchant, a good man, and a great father. But now the government was coming after him, accusing him of selling gold to the Columbians, financing a drug cartel. Kate can't believe it - her whole world, everything she knew about her father, was crashing down around her. Her father agrees to testify against the cartel and the family is placed in WITSEC - the Witness Protection Program. Kate refuses to go into hiding. She marries her longtime sweetheart, Greg Herrera, and says goodbye to her family, possibly forever. What she discovers after that changes her life forever.

The story was great. It was your typical thriller, cliffhangers at the end of most chapters, lots of death and destruction, and a heroine that you could truly get behind. But the writing. Ohhhh, the writing. It felt like something I read as a teenager, one of those schlocky Sweet Valley High books, or some other formulaic series book. Sentence fragments. And the ITALICS. Everywhere, even where they didn't make sense. I'm fine with them when they denote someone's thoughts, or when they are really necessary, but on every page of the book? What was it that Mr. Carpenter said to Emily Starr as he was dying? "Beware - of - italics!" Oh my God, yes. Mr. Gross, beware of italics.

Three out of five Whatevers. Only saved from being a two by the fact that I got wrapped up in the storyline. Had the story sucked, the writing would not have saved it. Sadly, I can't really recommend this, except possibly if you are stranded on a desert island and this is the only book available to you to read.


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