Now You See Him by Stella Cameron
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|Mon, 05-21-2007 - 11:56am|
The only thing that comes to mind to describe this book is...weird. Not good, creepy weird, either. The idea was excellent, but the book was poorly written.
The story takes place in the small town of Touissant. It's a town in Louisiana near New Orleans, kind of like New Orleans lite. Cameron tries to describe a cast of quirky characters but falls short of the mark. There are way too many characters, and it got confusing at times. Few of them are fully developed. She could have done much more with Wazoo, the local voodoo expert and pet whisperer, but Wazoo appears sporadically and doesn't do much.
Ellie, the heroine, is a woman with a past. She runs the local bookshop/cafe and is good friends with Joe, an attorney whose office is next door. Joe wants to be more than friends, but Ellie holds back for reasons known only to her.
The previous year, Ellie witnessed a murder during a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. The murderer has recently escaped from prison, and the townspeople try to protect Ellie who stubbornly doesn't want protection. There are several failed attempts to attack Ellie. She and Joe grow closer and she begins to discuss her past.
There's a bizarre subplot about the relationship between the local priest and his secretary. Nothing kinky--it's a chaste relationship--but strange.
Like I said, the plot is good but poorly executed. There are no transitions between scenes. One minute the characters are gathering at the bookstore, then they are at the church and it's a different day or time and you're left wondering how they got there and what happened in between. There's also a lack of backstory, so I kept wondering why certain characters acted a certain way. There was enough suspense to make me want to finish it, but I doubt I'll read anything by Cameron anytime soon.