October 09, 2011
Sow and You Shall Reap by B.P. Smythe
I actually don't read thrillers and murder mysteries too much. But when approached about this book I thought I'd give it a try. There certainly was a lot of excitement in this book, and plenty of intrigue to keep things interesting.
Elizabeth Waverly has been in prison before, mainly for abusing those under her care at a nursing home. She and her partner Norman Christie have bigger fish to fry now, however. A person who was responsible for sending them to prison, and who shares the same first name with Elizabeth is first in line for a very generous will should her mother die. Elizabeth and Norman help this along, and take care of the other Elizabeth for good measure and then Elizabeth Waverly assumes her identity. But before they can make out with the money, a new will is found and a brother enters the picture. He buys some property in Majorca and makes Elizabeth and Norman's plans much more difficult. Many more people will die and strange happenings start as a result and it is only a little more time before things just aren't what they seem.
Elizabeth and Norman are decidedly deliciously evil bad guys. Especially Elizabeth, the trauma of her past mixed with the ruthlessness of her future ensure that she is a force to be reckoned with. Norman too is a pitiable yet hate-able character. The other characters, Victor, Helen, and the rest have some important roles, yet I felt that I would have liked to have more information about them. There are a couple of scenes that describe Victor further which was helpful, but not so much background on Helen except through her father. I did like some of the side characters and their different stories. Here the author gave some background on their personalities through use of flashbacks and it helped explain their actions in the future.
For a plot this one definitely had a lot of murder and intrigue. In fact, I wondered what lurked around the corner at every page because I was never quite sure what was going to happen. A complaint I would have though is that towards the end it seemed rushed and actually kind of confusing. I had to reread the last three chapters a couple times before I finally understood what happened even though I couldn't quite understand how it happened (my imagination filled in that for me). I liked the touch of supernatural the book had as well, but it almost seemed an afterthought and I would have liked to see it incorporated sooner into the novel. Still, it was spooky and I liked the author's descriptions on some of the horrors that were beginning to move around. The writing itself was very direct and easy to read; I can see people of all types enjoying the tone of the novel.
Not a bad book, while there were a few flaws I largely enjoyed it. Definitely worthy of 3 1/2 stars to even 4. If you like thrilling tales of murder and the supernatural, this might be right up your alley.
Sow and You Shall Reap