Book Review: Primary Suspect
|Primary Suspect was written by Laura Scott and published in 2018. It was published as a Harlequin imprint, Love Inspired Suspense, and while it's not what I normally read I got it for free and I was bored, so I read it.|
The plot: Mitch Callahan is a fire investigator who goes on the run after he realized he's being framed for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. Dana Petrie is a widowed ER nurse who ends up involved with him after she sees someone try to kill him, so they get help from Mitch's family to try and figure out who the real killers are while trying to avoid being killed. And of course, since this is a romance novel, they fall in love along the way.
If you don't know already, Love Inspired and the "thriller" imprint, Love Inspired Suspense, publish Christian romance novels. Well, they say "inspirational romance" and mention faith, but I'm 99% sure it's entirely Christian. Anyway, so there's no sex in these. So if you're looking for something steamy, it's not here. In fact, I can say I wasn't very enthralled with the 'romance' part of the book, I found the mystery/thriller part a lot more interesting, but that might be just me. That being said...
Mitch is a collossal moron. So what happens in the beginning, and I can say this because it happens at the start of the very first chapter, is he gets a message from his boss to go check out a burned-out warehouse he had been investigating. Immediately once he gets there, someone hits him on the back of the head. He blacks out for a few minutes, then wakes up, and realizes that there's a dead body in the warehouse and that it's his ex-girlfriend (who cheated on him because of course all the non-romance interests have to be kind of dickheads). He assumes whoever hit him called the police, and that he's being framed, and so he runs to the hospital where he meets Dana... again.
But here's the problem. HE GOT BONKED ON THE HEAD. Presumably the dead person didn't do that, and the other person called the police, so clearly there is a third party invovled. Why couldn't he understand that they'd investigate that? Why, why, why? Going on the run just makes him look more suspicious. His family must also be made up of morons (this was evidently the 5th book in a series and I haven't read the others, not that you need to) because NONE of them even entertain the idea that yeah, maybe he did kill her! I get it's supposed to be a message of 'supporting family' but Jesus CHRIST you can't just assume everyone in your family is perfect. Bad people do stay hidden.
And here's another issue. This is a list of the female characters in the book:
- Dana Petrie, the heroine. Of course she's good.
- Dana's former mother in law, who is... well, a stuck up snobby rich person. Or at least, that's the impression I get.
- The lady who Dana volunteers with at the food bank, who was only there because... well, Dana had to call her and say she was out of town. Don't really know much about her.
- Mitch's family members, who are all Good Wives with Lots Of Babies.
- The waitress who ignored Dana and flirted with Mitch, gasp! Here's a hint: Most waitresses are just there to do a job, not flirt at people.
- The ex-girlfriend who cheated on Mitch and, as it turns out, he wasn't as attracted to her as he is to Dana! (And, spoiler, Dana wasn't attracted to her dead husband either).
- The front desk clerk at the motel who may or may not have tipped off their location to the police, another bad female character
Meanwhile there are lots of male characters who are supportive and mentioned more. So yeah, women are either like... matronly or Evil. I shouldn't have expected much, but... ugh. At least give Dana a female coworker or something...
Moving on, the whole faith part. I really... It really ended up throwing me for a loop, probably because I'm not interested in stuff like that. I guess it was okay, but it was just jarring for me personally. I don't know.
Now, the end: too many things were left ambiguous and uncleared, which I guess makes sense if the point is to be a romance instead of a thriller. Except the romance wasn't really there, but I digress. And [SPOILER] they got engaged after six weeks. What. The. Fuck. I guess it just goes to show that Mitch is a collossal moron.
Anyway, it was entertaining, but not anything amazing. Also I wanted to hit the characters on the head multiple times.