You Owe Me by Kerry Costello is a crime thriller that asks you to hang out a bit while it prepares to get off the ground. At the 65% point, we meet Billy Ray and Valentina bound and gagged sitting in the back of a limousine going wherever the people who bound and gagged them wanted to go. From this point forward the story is interesting all the way to the conclusion with a few surprises on the way. So, does this mean the story is slow and boring before this point? Not really. There is a difficult to believe story beginning but once I accepted that, what follows are a couple of characters I took to be main characters disappear with a nonchalance that I found disturbing and surprising. Those two elements got me to Chapter Eight, the 13% point of the novel. To sum up, an enjoyable first part, a large interesting segment from Chapter Twenty-eight to the conclusion, and much wasteland to cover in between. The in-between story reads like a slow progression of logical events and therefore is completely predictable. I was happy to encounter Billy Ray and Valentina as (finally) captives.
The title for Bitch on Wheels by Gregg Olsen comes from a description by one of Sharon’s “colleagues.” Sharon probably never had true friends. Sharon only had feelings for people who could provide benefits to her, either monetarily or connections with those who demonstrated the potential for future exploitation. Those feelings changed from moment to moment. People who initially had feelings of friendship for her would change their perceptions over time as Sharon’s true nature would inevitably emerge. Throughout the story, I wondered if author Olsen was giving an accurate portrayal of Sharon. Her documented actions were deplorable on their face; it was Olsen’s description of Sharon’s acceptance of her own actions that caused me to speculate. If Olsen’s description of Sharon’s self-perceptions is accurate, Sharon is a monster.
Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse is a novel I purchased on Amazon in December 2018 for USD 0.99. As of the date of this review, the price is US 9.49 and it has just over 300 reviews, 33% of which are five-star reviews. I think the author is good but is writing for a tough audience. Psychological thriller readers want something “never-been-done-before.” Philosophers will argue that is not possible so the author must come up with a different twist on familiar themes. I liked the story and gave it five Amazon stars. Because it had parts where the action was slow, I can see some readers knocking it down to four Amazon stars, but I was willing to give the story a chance. When it picks up the pace is good and is worth waiting (reading) for.