3 out of 4 stars
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Striking Blind is the third in the Sorrel Janes Mystery series written by Lonna Enox. The book features Sorrel Janes, a wildlife photographer in Saddle Gap, New Mexico.
While Sorrel is busy preparing for the next big sale of her gift shop, Mr. Byrd, the editor of the local newspaper where Sorrel works as a freelance photographer, asks her to follow up on a story somewhere in Eastern Arizona. Together with Will, a budding newspaper reporter tasked to write a travel article about the area, Sorrel learns about the horrible death of a young man trapped in a cave with rattlesnakes. The assignment gets personal when Sorrel finds out that a photo of her, apparently taken several years back, is found in the pocket of the victim.
Suddenly, Sorrel’s new life and new-found peace is disrupted. With a pair of feline for company, a perky but very pregnant friend, and the constant and welcome presence of a sweet and caring lawman, Chris Reed, Sorrel feels safe in her oasis, until things start to feel wrong.
The story is written in the first person perspective of Sorrel and is told in an animated tone that reading feels like watching an actual movie. The descriptions of the settings are so vivid and the dialogues are so realistic that it’s easy to visualize the scenes that are taking place. Though the story is primarily a book of mystery and suspense, the romance between the male and the female protagonists gives the book a light and sweet touch that romance fans may find appealing. The themes of the story include love, friendship and revenge.
However, I found the pacing of the story too slow for my taste. Though the book began in a suspenseful scene which promised an exciting story, the pacing abruptly slowed down and didn’t pick up until the last few chapters. Moreover, I found the characters difficult to relate to. First, Sorrel was too stubborn and feisty for a matured woman who had been through a lot in the past. Second, the depiction of Chris Reed as sheriff’s deputy was inadequate for me. There was insufficient information about his values and principles as a peace officer and the depth of his loyalty to law enforcement that it was difficult to form a solid opinion of him as a character. All in all, I didn’t find any of the characters likable or relatable. Furthermore, some scenes were not segued smoothly making some chapters a little disjointed. Finally, the ending was a little anticlimactic. It was probably the effect of not giving away much and saving all the explanations and elaborations at the final chapters that the story ended up not as satisfying as it should be.
I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is an interesting and suspenseful mystery novel with a sweet dose of romance. Animal lovers, particularly of cats and dogs, may find this book endearing. As the third in the series, it can be a standalone and readers can enjoy it even without reading the first two books.
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