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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shepherd's Fall by Wanda L Dyson

Nick Shepherd own one third of the family business-Prodigal Recovery Bounty Hunters. In short, when the police need an escaped convict or any person in hiding from the authorities, the Bounty Hunters go in undercover to retrieve them. Nick loves his job, but his love for his job has destroyed his other loves. His personal life is a mess. His ex-wife, teenage daughter, brother, and sister are enough to keep him going crazy. On top of this, he's searching for two different people-a prostitute and a crafty escaped convict. In the process of trying to find the prostitute, he accidentally apprehends her twin, who is also trying to find her because she needs a bone marrow transplant. Nick has been running from God, but his current case could bring him back to grips with Him. When his teenage daughter is kidnapped, Nick becomes desperate in order to reach her before time runs out.

The best thing about this book is that Wanda has returned to her roots with a book with many intertwined plots instead of a simple plot. The bad thing is she does not handle it properly, like she did in Abduction. I'm not sure if Wanda will ever return to her former glory.

Nick is a good, imperfect character with a personality. His troubled past and troubled family life are both his fault. He isn't a victim. The bad part about the characters is that there aren't any other good characters. There are a few other imperfect characters, but Wanda seemed to forget about the other characters. There is good character interaction throughout the book, but there is also unproductive dialogue, and dialogue is required the build characters.

It's refreshing to see a different Wanda L Dyson series after the disappointing end to the Shefford-Johnson series. The bounty hunters idea is a very good idea, Wanda just can't seem to get her ends down. In these types of fragile plots, ends are everything. There is virtually nothing wrong with the body of the book, but a cheesier-than-usual showdown really puts a damper on things. The twins subplot adds an interesting twist, but that too is ended incorrectly. Wanda basically does everything she can to fix every subplot, going against standards she set earlier in her career. Perhaps it is that Abduction was her only good idea and now she writes only because people expect her to.

I've heard people say that her books are very riveting and exciting, but other than Abduction, they are really no different than any other average suspense novel.

2.5 stars

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