3 out of 4 stars
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Akira Sato is desperate to leave the employ of her Yakuza boss, Matsui, but she has one more task to complete before she can win her freedom. Matsui’s sister has been murdered, and the killer has been traced to the Starfish, a cruise ship sailing leisurely through the Pacific. Akira’s job is to take the killer out – but there’s a complication. No one is sure whether it was Paul Lyons or his wife, Sara, who was responsible for the murder, and it’s up to Akira to find out. The couple’s handsome nephew, Devon, is a wealth of information and an easy mark for her feminine wiles, but as Akira seduces the truth out of him, she finds herself beginning to fall for him as well. Will her emotions get in the way of her deadly mission?
Kaylin McFarren’s Twisted Threads is a fast-paced psychological thriller with a sexy side. It brought thrills and shivers and kept me guessing until the very last page, but there were a couple issues that kept me from being completely swept up by the story. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.
Akira is an extremely interesting character. As a former geisha, she’s a master of seduction, but she’s also a lethal assassin determined to complete her mission. I just wish that I had known what she was thinking as she unraveled the intrigue on the Starfish – I wanted to get a glimpse inside her mind as she put the clues together and plotted her next move. She had such a difficult role to play, manipulating Devon even as she fell for him, but the lack of insight into her thoughts left me wondering how much of the relationship was real, at least as first.
The other thing I disliked about the book is how formal the dialogue is. All the characters speak with such perfect diction that sometimes their conversations seemed more like a written exchange than a casual chat with friends. This might just be a matter of personal preference, but for me, it was a bit of a distraction from the otherwise steamy love scenes – even in the throes of passion, Akira and Devon still spoke like royalty.
All complaints aside, I really enjoyed the complex web of plotlines and deceit that McFarren has woven in this book. Every character had a past, every secret had a story, and they all came together in a gripping conclusion. Just when I thought I saw the whodunit coming, a new twist would come out of left field and change everything. Twisted Threads is definitely a well-crafted mystery.
I recommend this book to mystery lovers who enjoy a little seduction mixed in with their suspense, and who don’t mind when the main character is as much of a mystery as the rest of the cast. Readers should also be warned (or tempted, as the case may be) that this book contains several graphic sex scenes.
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