Monday, February 11, 2013
Review: The Dead and Buried
Author: Kim Harrington
Release date: January 1st 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Hardcover, 304 pages
Buy: The Book Depository
There are several things you can count on when you pick up one of Kim Harrington’s books. First, that it’ll be entertaining, if a bit predictable. Second, that the main character will be likeable enough and that she won’t make incredibly stupid choices at every turn. Third, that there’s a decently plotted mystery at the center. Fourth, that she knows how to write sweet and believable romances. And last, that you’ll forget all the details in about a month or so.
I’ll tackle this (more or less) in order, shall I?
Like Clarity and Perception before it, The Dead and Buried is a read-in-one-sitting book. It’s rather short, you see, but more importantly, it’s well-paced and quite engaging. Because of its shortness, there are no filler chapters, everything that happens is pertinent to the mystery and Harrington gives you no time to relax. If you are to guess, or even just speculate the identity of Kayla Sloane’s murderer, your eyes must be wide open at all times. Even the smallest thing might be relevant.
Jade was a great main character, mature and organized, very self-aware. She was never careless or ignorant and she knew how to stand up for herself. I expected no less from Kim Harrington, especially since she didn’t need cheap tricks to further complicate the plot. Two boys were interested in Jade, but although she interacted with both, the love triangle never reared its ugly head. It was never a question who she’d end up with, only when and how. I liked how Jade handled that entire situation, and I especially liked how she treated both Donovan and Kane. She was attracted to Donovan from the first time she saw him and she was very much aware of it the entire time. For his part, Donovan was very sweet and outspoken about his feelings. His girlfriend died only six months before Jade moved into her house so of course he had a few issues, but I thought he handled them well overall and I really liked him.
The mystery was a tiny bit predictable, I admit, but whenever I started thinking that Harrington would fall into a painfully predictable pattern, Jade did something gutsy and unexpected that surprised me and put my mind at ease. I suppose there are worse things than an easy-to-guess murderer, especially if the main character is interesting enough and the book is tightly paced.
Lastly, the fact remains that I couldn’t remember the details of Clarity to save my life (although I do remember the basic plot and some of the characters) and I have a feeling it will be even worse with The Dead and Buried. It’s not a book meant to stay with you, but that’s something I can occasionally appreciate.