Thursday, February 12, 2009

Book #10: Guilty as Sin by Tami Hoag

Oh, what a disappointment this was. After the hilarious, I-can't-believe-I'm-reading-this monstrosity, it's-so-bad-it's-awesome tour de force that was 'Night Sins', I was expecting a lot more out of you, Miss Hoag. I was expecting a fast-paced, well thought-out plot hidden beneath a layer of soap opera characters and horrible dialogue, something that would be as mindlessly entertaining as the first part of this series. But you disappointed me. The interesting story that was left in a cliffhanger in the first book is taken up again in 'Night Sins' and changed into a dull, uninteresting, predictable courtroom drama that I almost didn't finish reading. That's how little I cared about it.

There's not even a whole lot of plot. The likely kidnapper from the first book has been arrested, and it is up to tough, independent (what…again?) assistant County Attorney Ellen North to get him convicted. She is practically all alone as the handsome, shark-like defending attorney (a walking cliché if I ever saw one) woos a painfully stupid judge to his side as well as the press and most of the community. No one around her thinks that Ellen can convict this guy, except of course the two cops who captured him as he was fleeing the scene and a handsome, rugged and mysterious(what…again?!) writer with a past who is constantly attempting to seduce this woman. Because she so badly needs it, you know. The whole book is a slow, painful dullfest as Ellen tries to build her case against the suspect while the cops try to find the guy's accomplice and solve another kidnapping. It's full of dead ends and 'surprise' twists that are completely ineffective and predictable, and only one sex scene. I mean, come on, Tami Hoag. There is a reason why people read your books, and it ain't for your insights of the judicial system.

The biggest problem with the book, really, is that we know that the guy is guilty. We know because we read the whole damned prequel, and it's just plain boring and frustrating to read the stupid roadblocks Hoag throws in Ellen's way. The other problem is that the characters from the prequels, who we had come to at least be interested in, are completely relegated to the background, showing up every now and then to do absolutely nothing. Instead, Hoag brings up an entire new set of clichéd characters—the eager reporter, the mysterious writer, the evil defending lawyer, the bumbling country boss—that aren't in the least bit interesting or realistic. The whole thing feels like a really bad episode of some 90s courtroom drama that you watch on reruns at midnight because you have nothing better to do, that you keep watching because you just want to see the end, even if you don't give a damn about any of the people involved.

It's a bad book. And believe me, I love a so-bad-it's-good read as much as the next masochistic fool, but if you just go for mediocre and dull, then I don't even want to know you. If you're gonna go for bad make it awesomely bad. At least try to entertain me. I hope for Hoag's sake that she went back to her romance/suspense novels and stayed far away from pretending to be John Grisham. One should always stick to one's strengths.

And give me more than one bad sex scene. Sheesh, woman. Know your audience!

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

have you given any thought to trying the first book in the wheel of time series? i mean, seeing as how you're serious about reading all these books and can't pick up a good one :P