Feb 14 2008
Dear Ms Handeland,
Your books are like potato chips or popcorn or anything smothered with chocolate. I can’t stop reading them anymore than I can restrict myself to one serving of a snack that’s bound to go straight to my hips and stick there like superglue. Sigh. Just when I think that you must be running out of supernatural legends or myths to bring into the Jager Sucher world, you trot out another one and write a book about it. And yes, I did google the subject of the latest paranormal beastie to bedevil your characters and also noticed a bunch of other legends listed at one site in particular. Seems like every group/clan/bunch of people have their own particular bugaboo to scare them in the dark.
After reading last years entry in your Nighcreatures series, “Hidden Moon,” I knew that Cherokee sheriff Grace McDaniel would a heroine at some point. She’s another of the “tough as nails” women you seem to specialize in and of whom I can’t get enough. But while some heroines like this end up grating on my last nerve, yours have enough of a sense of humility and poke fun at themselves enough so that I can laugh along with them.
Grace is competent at her job, willing to roll with the punches, cares about the people she’s been sworn to protect, even the drunks and rednecks, and can track almost anything that walks through the Blue Ridge Mountains near the Georgia town of Lake Bluff. Things which move right through solid objects and can fly might stump her for a little while but she soon figures out what to do about them too. I also like that she doesn’t get along with Elise Hanover (Dark Moon is one of my least favorite of this series) as I can’t stand Elise either. So sue me.
Books written in first person don’t bother me. In fact I often enjoy them quite a bit but sometimes I do miss not having the other lead character’s point of view. Since you usually have your heroine suspect her hero of being the baddie for at least a little bit of the book, I can see why you need to restrict what we the readers know but I wistfully wonder what goes on in the minds of these heroes. Ian Walker, another hero with secrets in his past, pops up in Grace’s world right when things start to go wonky and the music from “The Twilight Zone” should start sounding in her head. It doesn’t help Grace’s equilibrium that the heat between these two sizzles like the thunder which starts the story. But she is clear headed enough to order her deputy to investigate Ian’s bona fides as a doctor.
I like Ian yet I felt that some of his revelations were veering towards deus ex machina territory. I also didn’t care for Elise Hanover’s closed mouth. Yeah, I did mention I don’t like her, right? One character I was happy to see again is Doc Bill, the local ME. I bet he could entertain a lot of people at the next medical conference he attends.
Looking back at some of my previous letters, it would appear that many of the issues that annoyed me are ones which still do so I guess I just need to deal with it for future books. But then, what’s the deal with the Jager Suchers? Is this the end of this series? Or is there more to come? I couldn’t help laughing at the way Grace follows their underground actions by reading the tabloids but if it works for the MiB, then why not a small town Sheriff. From the excerpt at the end of “Thunder Moon” it seems that you’ve got a new series planned. I await it eagerly. B
This book can be purchased in mass market. No ebook format. Please, St. Martin, please get with the twenty first century.