Monday, May 25, 2015

American Quartet by Warren Adler | Book Review

(The original cover from the early '80s was not quite so attractive.  This one is much better.)

I "discovered" Warren Adler about a year ago, by accident.  I saw a train on the cover of Trans-Siberian Express on NetGalley and snatched it up... and fell in love.  I wouldn't say that American Quartet was bad at all, but unfortunately it didn't quite live up to Trans-Siberian Express or Treadmill.  

Perhaps it was the MC.  Fiona is a female DC cop, and her character felt a little "forced" to me.  She is awesome.  She's holding her own in a mostly-male world.  She's really smart; almost always making connections before the men around her even finish their morning coffee.  But she is quite confrontational in most of her interactions.  Very defensive.  I guess I would have liked for the author to trust us readers to recognize her awesomeness (as I did) and not to feel the need to explain over and over how she's a woman in a man's world.

The plot itself was really cool, and I totally enjoyed the way it unfolded.  Most of the book is from Fiona's POV as she investigates a series of murders in DC.  As the body count rises, so does the tension.  Not only is her job at stake, so are innocent lives.  I won't give spoilers, but I will say that Adler gives the reveal to the reader at a near-perfect point... in my humble opinion.  Sometimes I feel cheated if the author gives me the solution before the main character figures it out, but in this case it really added to the build-up to the end and had me at the metaphorical edge of my seat!

The other POV is a local powerhouse, Thaddeus Remington III.  He's a failed politician with tons of money to burn.  He throws the parties that you really want to be seen at.  And he knows lots of DC dirty little secrets.  You'll have to read the book to find out if he helps or hinders Fiona!

Overall, I'd give American Quartet 3.5 of 5 stars.  Goodreads doesn't let you give half stars, so my rating will round up to 4 of 5 stars.  And I would read the next in the series.  But I don't feel like I have to go out and get it now and tell all the peoples about it.  Make sense?  I guess I'm more in like than in love, while also recognizing good plot structure and writing.

*I received a copy of American Quartet from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review, and for that I'm grateful.

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