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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book Review - Revelations (Jane Perry #3) by Laurel Dewey













Title: Revelations (Jane Perry #3) 
Author: Laurel Dewey 
Year: 2011
Page: 464
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Suspense / Thriller

FTC Disclosure: Tracee, Pump Up Your Book PR Specialist and Virtual Book Tour Coordinator contacted me to see if I was interested, in exchange for an unbiased review

Summary (from goodreads.com):
In this third Jane Perry novel, Laurel Dewey takes Jane out of Denver to the small town of Midas where the Chief of Police is a close friend of Jane's boss. Jacob Van Gorden, the fifteen-year-old son of a prominent area businessman, has disappeared and all signs point to his abductor being Jordan Copeland, a man who committed a similar crime decades ago. Jane settles into this little community for much longer than she wants, living with a preacher and his family (including their eccentric teenage daughter who was Jacob's girlfriend). There are signs that Jacob is still alive, so the clock is ticking. And as Jane investigates Jordan Copeland, she begins to have doubts about his guilt and begins to uncover signs of devastating – and even deadly – secrets all around Midas.

Meanwhile, Jane must deal with two considerable secrets of her own. One hits her in the gut before she leaves Denver and the other creeps up on her from the most unlikely of places. And on top of this, Hank Ross, owner of a bar in Midas, has somehow managed to find a way beneath Jane's armor-plated defenses, forcing her to contend with feelings she hasn't allowed to surface for a very long time.

Revelations is the most powerful and personal Jane Perry novel yet. Teeming with the passions and ambiguities that make Laurel Dewey so compelling to read, it is a breathtaking story of mysteries revealed and withheld.


First Sentence:
Jordan Copeland ran like a monster through the rain-soaked woods, chased only by his demons. 

My Thoughts:

Why this book?
  • Murder / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense has always been my favorite fictional genre. This was what I used to read 99% of the time. I still like it, but now it is harder to find ones that are satisfying - after you have read a lot of this genre, sometimes the plot became too predictable. So I am always looking for new authors to try! Even though this is Book #3 in the series, I asked if I had to read the previous books, and was told that they could be stand alone.
First thought:
  • When Tracee contacted me, she said they are hoping all reviews will be posted on 6/14/11 - so I haven't read any other reviews of this book yet and I can't wait to see what others think! It is quite unusual to be one of the first to review it (or read a book with no prior reviews anyway!) So this review definitely is not influenced by other review :)
Cover Art:
  • I love pictures of trees. Trees full of leaves, or bare trees. In fact, I have taken similar pictures of tree branches. So yes I like the cover - it is relevant to the story, and it looks kinda creepy too so you know bad things are gonna happen!
Title:
  • While it fits the story, it's not really attention catching. I like wittier titles. This just describes the book but there is no surprise that makes you go "ah, now I know what the title implies!"
Writing:
  • This is a pretty long book at 464 pages. It was a little slow to begin with, but once you get into it, it was a pretty fast read. 
  • I think there were parts, especially when it came to Jordan, that could speed up a little. From memory, like most books in this genre, the sentences and paragraphs were fairly short. However, when it came to Jordan, those paragraphs got a lot longer
Plot:
  •  Kept you guessing! Although some parts seemed a little convenient where many characters experienced the same theme - their histories were revealed. 
  • I think chapter one was the weakest chapter. It was a short chapter, but it wasn't very clear and if I was to pick up this book, just to read the first few pages to see if I wanted to read the rest of the book, I might have given up. I knew it was there to set up Jordan as a main character, but it left me confused instead (well, might be that was the whole point, since Jordan was sometimes confused...)
  • I liked how the author answered all the unanswered questions in the end! Sometimes in other books, the authors might raise some questions that seemed utterly important, and made you guessed what happened. Life Sentences: A Novel by Laura Lippman came to mind - there was this BIG SECRET, that you just know the answer would made you go "aahhh... that's what happened! That explained it!" but it never came. I googled a lot to find out what happened and found others experience the same as I did! I think the author said she was going to explain it in her blog or website or something... but I couldn't find it at the time and forgot about it altogether. So I appreciated that this author tied up all loose ends, even the ones I had forgotten about!
  • I was able to guess two big plot twists though (or I had the suspicion where the plot was going), but that didn't really take the enjoyment out of reading the story (one concerning Jacob, and one about his family)
Characters:
  • Even though I hadn't read the previous 2 Jane Perry books, I got a pretty good sense of whom Jane was in this book. Some others might not like her - she swears, she was a recovering alcoholic, she didn't always follow protocol - but I liked her independence, her smarts, and she had a sensitive side too. I particularly liked reading about her and Bo - even though their relationship was a minor one in the book, it demonstrated what type of person Jane was. I didn't expect that side of her. In fact, that might be what I liked the most about the book (remember the ?, !, trash bag ?)
  • The minor characters, like Bo and Vi, in the book were well developed, you got a sense of who they were even if they did not play a big role. I wish Jane's partner/boss was developed a bit more though but you still got a sense of his personality. I wanted to taste Hank's food!
Ending:
  •  Definitely a hook to make you read the next book! Another secret!
Emotion:
  • While it was not the best murder/mystery I had read, it was still exciting to find a new author you like! Almost like trying out different chocolate, and find one that you want to buy again :)
What I Learned:
  • It took me 7 days to read this book (was busy though) but I didn't feel like it took that long. Weird. I think the story did suck me in, but I just didn't have much time to read that week. 
PS:
  • Now I have to go read the other reviews to see if I am in the minority of liking this book - somehow I doubt it :) Makes me wonder if Tea Time with Marce will like this one since she is into this genre too!
Read this Author again?
  • I think so! I might have to go read the first two in the series! 

Quote:
"It's the little things, you know? People are always looking at the elephant in the room and I'm always looking at the peanut." (p36)  

"When faced with uncertainty in our lives, I always harken back to something my wife's grandfather told her to say during times of trepidation. It was just ten words but in those words, there was both comfort and courage to continue. Those ten words were: I will be all right and one day I will die."" (p153)

"Two people look at a bridge. One sees a place to jump and the other sees a place to cross over. But when it's all said and done, it's still just a bridge. It's our perception that gives its power." (p363)

Overall Rating:
4 Stars.  



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

6 comments:

  1. Very interesting review. I love books that answer the unanswered questions at the end, but still leave you a hook. I may have to look into this author!

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  2. I love the bridge quote. I haven't heard of this one Christa, look forward to other reviews. Of course you know I have to read it now :-)

    I enjoy when authors answer the unknown or unaswered also, it just wraps everything up. This is why I prefer stand alones.

    Great review.

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  3. Christa, here is another review for you to read - from Cat.

    http://cat-bookmagic.blogspot.com/2011/06/review-revelations-by-laurel-dewey.html

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  4. @rhapsodyinbooks - while I was reading the book, I thought this is maybe a 3.5 Stars. But I like how it ends, so it got bumped up to 4! The ending can totally make or ruin a book in my opinion...

    @Marce - I haven't heard of this author before either, so I am glad I took a chance! I like that you can read this one as a stand alone even though it is a series, I didn't feel anything was missing much. Just don't give up in chapter 1 lol (I almost did, but luckily it was a short chapter!) If I am in a reading rut, I'd probably read Book 1 and 2. And thanks for posting Cat Bookmagic's review!

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  5. Hi Christa - thanks for dropping by and my apologies for not getting here sooner. Glad you enjoyed Revelations overall - its the touch of the esoteric in these books that adds extra appeal for me.'
    Have been enjoying reading some of your other reviews and adding myself to your followers.

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  6. @Cat - thanks for visiting - no apologies needed! I am definitely glad I gave this book a try. I've subscribed to your blog via RSS also! I used to live in Melbourne, so you were practically a neighbour :)

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