4 out of 4 stars
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Struggling to make ends meet as a professional tennis player, Sydney Livingstone hopes to make a good showing at the Mainspring Mutual Open tournament. Winning a few rounds will not only help her pay her past-due rent, but she may even earn enough points to qualify for the US Open. Either way, she'll have to rank high if she ever wants to make a mark in the world of professional sports before her chronic injury takes her out of the game.
But Sydney has more to worry about than overcoming her weakness and winning favor with the crowd. Someone from her past is hunting her. As the tournament rounds continue, the stalker becomes more desperate and Sydney and her fellow athletes face elimination of a far more dire kind. Will Sydney be able to triumph despite the rising tension, or will she become another victim of the deranged stalker who's got a one-track mind?
Faults, by Orion Gregory, is a thrilling sports-centered crime novel. I loved how well the author used the tournament's tension and the escalating determination of the stalker to add suspense to this engaging story. Even though I don't know much about tennis, I eagerly dove right into the exciting matches depicted at different points of the on-going tournament. I enjoyed that the sports portion featured Sydney's journey to define herself in a highly-competitive and sometimes cutthroat environment. I also loved how the crime aspect added to the depth of Sydney's struggles as she was already an anxious person and had to work extra hard to deal with the stress brought on by the tournament and the suspicious activities surrounding her.
My favorite part of the book was the dynamic cast of suspects. Fellow tennis players, family members, best friends, and lovers all played a part in composing the well-developed list of possible people who wanted to harm Sydney. The author did an excellent job creating plausible motives, unique personalities, and character traits to distinguish each person of interest and make it difficult to predict who the real culprit was. Despite falling for the red herring that lead me down the wrong trail of clues, I enjoyed making guesses and predictions throughout the story, right up to the final pages.
The heavy swearing and occasional rude comments were the only things that I disliked about the book, but personal preferences did not reduce my rating. The heart-pounding competition and the stalker's unpredictability made Faults a satisfyingly thrilling read. The book was also edited very well, with only a few proofreading errors. Therefore, I rate it four out of four.
I'd recommend this book to adults who enjoy crime fiction, especially in a sports setting. The language consists of a mix of minor and heavy swearing, but there was no explicit sexual content aside from a few steamy kisses—all "lovemaking" happened behind the scenes. Those sensitive to the subject of suicide should be aware that the book opens with the scene of a young woman taking her life that may be disturbing.
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