Archive for 'Phelan, Twist'
FALSE FORTUNE features lawyer Hannah Dain. In an effort to improve her relationships with her father and older sister, Hannah has joined the family law firm and is trying to fit in. Hannah and sister Shelby are on an evidence gathering expedition in a remote desert area when a car goes over a cliff into a lake and the driver needs to be rescued from the vehicle. Hannah, an extreme sports enthusiast, takes the plunge and saves the trapped woman. Sheâ€™s a hero in the morning, but in the afternoon Hannah has to take her sisterâ€™s place in court and messes up what should have been a routine case settlement. Now she must take the toxic tort case to trial â€“ something she has never done before.
Shelby is furious with Hannah, who is trying to locate missing evidence, find a new expert witness, and prepare herself for trial. When Hannahâ€™s newly discovered 14-year old half-sister, Anuya, shows up, things get very complicated. You see, Shelby doesnâ€™t yet know about Anuya, and Hannah is trying to keep it that way so she can keep some hurtful family secrets hidden until Shelby is ready to hear them. But it turns out that everyone has a few secrets they are trying to hide and Hannahâ€™s new case proves to be harmful to her health.
FALSE FORTUNE is basically a good book. The bad guys are easy to spot, but the plot is still good, the characters are interesting, and there are some intriguing complications along the way. And the extreme sports thread that runs through the book adds something new for readers, without getting carried away, which is important in these themed books.
However, Phelan needs to devote some research to the matter of incorporating juvenile characters into books. Hannah is completely negligent in her care of Anuya, and I spent the whole book waiting for Anuya to be kidnapped and murdered. Just as authors who are unfamiliar with ballistics need to do research, so, too, do authors who are unfamiliar with the care and feeding of juveniles. When a 14-year old girl travels cross-country and tells no one where she is, responsible people do not wait four days to call her mother. After being threatened with violence and an apartment has been broken into and searched, a responsible person does not leave said 14-year old asleep alone in the apartment and go to work all day. By portraying Hannah acting this way, Phelan conveys to us that she is irresponsible and untrustworthy â€“ and I donâ€™t think that was the intent.
Did I guess it? Yes. Favorite character? Hannahâ€™s secretary Clementine. Will I read another? Yes. The flaw here is an easy fix.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007