Oct 3 2006
Dear Ms. Lee:
This is the second installment in the Kyra Moray series. In Still Waters, we were introduced female detective Kyra Moray set in a slightly futuristic New Orleans. In the midst of solving a serial killing crime, Kyra meets her love interest Alex Waters. The problems I had in the first book were not entirely resolved in this story and I am uncertain as to whether I would want to read in a third book in this series.
Let me start out by saying that the one thing I thought was really well done in this book was the mystery. Three bodies are found walled up in an old police safe house. The evidence shows these three bodies to have been killed 15 years ago and to be the bodies of three law enforcement individuals. It is clear to Kyra that the identity of the killers is likely to be police officers. She just has no idea when she begins to investigate how high the scandal reaches.
The way in which the crime is solved is very good. It’s the rest of the story that falls short, way short, for me.
You try to do too many things in this book and therefore none really get the attention deserved. The main character is Kyra and she has a whole host of characters that orbit about her. The problem is that I want two main characters: Kyra and Alex and the secondary characters to be secondary. Instead, much time is devoted to developing a romance between Kyra’s partner, Anna, and Desi, a tech detective aka medical examiner (still very confused about how she could be both). The problem is that we haven’t spent enough time fleshing out the relationship between Kyra and Alex. It was given short shrift in Still Waters and really not much better treatment in this story.
There is a very explicit love scene between Anna and Desi and I found myself disinterested in it. At first I wondered if I was just a homophobe and didn’t like lesbian sex scenes, but then I realized that I hadn’t minded the lesbian sex scenes I’ve read in other books (Emma Holly springs to mind) nor have I minded the male on male sex scenes (Blood Brothers). I think at the point in which the lesbian sex scene occurred I was overloaded with sex scenes and was skipping the ones between Alex and Kyra too. Or maybe I am just a homophobe.
Another jarring part of the book was the constant head hopping. I think that we “see” into the minds of 5 characters. That’s about 2 too many for me particularly when the head hopping isn’t related to the development of the character. In the early part of the book, you jump from Kyra talking to a victim’s mother to Desi considering the results of the gun report. This lasts for two paragraphs (inside Desi’s POV) and then we are back at Kyra’s POV, getting the report.
I didn’t understand why we were shown Desi’s POV. It didn’t advance her romance with Anna or serve to provide insight to her character. It was just confusing. I am not sure if it even advances the story from one scene to the next. This occurred so frequently in the book that I began to wonder whose story I was reading.
While I liked the mystery and I still like Kyra and Alex, I wished you had spent more time on the two of them and less on developing the other characters. It’s just too much to try to fit into the space of one book. C-