If Hallie Ephron's latest novel of suspense, Come and Find Me, doesn't make you angry on behalf of the main character, and make you flip pages rapidly, hoping she's strong enough to survive, I'd be surprised. Normally, I don't read women in jeopardy novels. But, I felt vindicated when I finished this book, glad I'd read it.
Diana Banks had once teamed up with her husband, Daniel, and his friend, Jake, as successful computer hackers. But one incident that caused a death convinced Diana they needed to change their ways. They never had a chance to get their new computer security company off the ground before Daniel died in a climbing accident. Diana went into a tailspin. Her panic attacks grew so bad she couldn't leave her house. Instead, she shielded herself behind locked doors, existing in a virtual world. Her skills were good enough, though, that she and Jake could build the security company, with Diana working from home on her elaborate computer set-up.
Jake and Diana's sister, Ashley, got her through the first months after Daniel's accident. It was Ashley who forced her out of bed, into clothes, back into reality. So, when Ashley disappears after dumping her latest boyfriend, Diana is worried. She's so worried that, with the help of a policeman, she leaves the house to look for evidence her sister is gone. When the police drop the case, Diana forces herself to overcome her weaknesses, and continue looking. For Diana, that search only leads to heartbreak, and the ultimate betrayal.
I will admit, the book lacked some elements of surprise. I wasn't surprised to discover the truth, and the people behind Diana's betrayal and her sister's disappearance. However, I was so hooked into Diana and her issues that I was compelled to continue reading. I wanted to see Diana triumph in the end. Ephron's success with this book doesn't lie with the suspense. It lies with the creation of Diana Banks, a character with weaknesses that force sympathy from the reader. Diana's neediness compels the reader to cheer her on in her search for answers, and then, for justice.
And, although we all know we lack privacy in a world where we reveal so much on the Internet, Come and Find Me will make you a little nervous. We've all read that Apple is watching us if we have a smart phone. We know the government is watching. But, who else is watching?
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
1, 2, 3 ... By the Sea: A Counting Book
Book: 1, 2, 3 ... By the Sea: A Counting Book Author: Dianne Moritz Illustrator: Hazel Mitchell Pages: 36 Age Range: 3-6 1, 2, 3 ... By the Sea is a nice lit...
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.