Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: STRANGER ON THE SHORE by Josh Lanyon #Mystery #Amreading

Twenty years ago, little Brian Arlington was kidnapped from his family's Long Island estate and was never seen again. The trail went cold, but investigative journalist Griff Hadley has always thought there was more to the story—much more. When the Arlingtons' patriarch invites him to stay at their estate to research his true crime book, Griff can't say no. It's the story of a lifetime.

But not everyone is happy about Griff's presence. Relatives and staff alike regard him coldly, including Pierce Mather, the Arlingtons' attractive lawyer, who is more than a little wary of Griff's motives.

When a stranger shows up claiming to be the long-lost Brian, Griff and Pierce are united in their suspicions. Startled to have found an ally in the buttoned-up lawyer, Griff soon realizes it's hard to keep a professional distance. Even in the midst of a groundbreaking investigation, even in the face of a shocking family secret…

I wanted to like this book. I really did. I love the concept. Cold case mystery involving a missing child and one of America’s most wealthy families? Cool! Unfortunately, the execution of mystery fell short for me. The clues were so painfully obvious right from the beginning that I spent most of the time pissed off at the characters for not figuring it out. Rather than creating tension, I wanted to throw my Kindle against the wall. I kept hoping there would be some twist at the end to prove me wrong, some big pay-off to wow me...but the end was just sort of meh. Coincidence as a plot point just doesn’t do it for me.

I also thought the romance lagged. The attraction between Griff and Pierce wasn’t believable. I feel like there needs to be more than, “Oh, you’re gay too? Let’s go!” Pierce was a jerk to Griff even after they hooked up. And Griff taking it from him made him seem weak. If you are going to have a highhanded Alpha male, you need someone to put him in his place.

I don’t want you to think I hated this book. It was okay. The prose was strong, and like I said, I loved the concept. I guess I just expected more from Josh Lanyon.

Overall, I give Stranger on the Shore...

Plot - 2 1/2 bookmarks
Character Development - 3 bookmarks
Romance - 3 bookmarks

Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Jamie Bell (Griff), Armie Hammer (Pierce)

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