Thursday, May 13, 2010

Review: Drive Time Slow Start But Gets Exciting!

Drive Time (Charlotte Mcnally)Drive Time

A Charlotte McNally Novel


MIRA Books
ISBN: 9780778327974
343 Pages






Can you keep a secret? That seemed to be the overall theme for Drive Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan. And if you can keep a secret, are there exceptions to the rule, like, say, for your spouse? Personally, I don't think so...

But Charlotte McNally is in her late 40's and engaged to be married really for the first time, since her earlier marriage had been so short, it really didn't count. But now, here she was in love with not only a wonderful man, but the father of a beautiful young girl, who would soon be hers!

And all of a sudden, it seemed like everybody had secrets, and they were all telling her! Like--her boss was leaving Channel 3 and heading to New York and had asked her to go with him. But it was all to be kept a secret...

So, how was she to continue to plan for her marriage if she couldn't talk to her fiancé about possibly relocating? I must say that all of the "personal" interactions slowed this book down for me for most of it. Although McNally is an investigative reporter, actually seeing behind the scenes that the activity takes surveillance, research, interviews, and lots of...secrecy, readers discover that it is not so very exciting as we would think!

Topics for reporting can come through brainstorming or through a personal incident that causes questions to arise. In this story, a car scam is taking place quietly in the background until Charlotte is looking for the big case that will get her another Emmy. One man's car is burned and then he is murdered. And Charlie has an opportunity to confront the man she believes is the killer!

While at home Josh shares something that has happened at the school where he teaches and where his daughter, Penny is going to soon be a classmate, only to have that end in two murders! But Josh does not want her to share the secret nor follow the story... Duh, is this going to work or not? How can CharlieMac, as Penny has dubbed her, put away her reporter instincts just because her soon-to-be husband says so? And, of course, she doesn't, so she starts keeping secrets from him...

Although this book was very well written and deserves your attention, it felt off to me for some reason. Perhaps the secrecy seemed contrived to me, even though the events, or some of them, could happen. My biggest disappointment was that after most of the book was about working through the investigation of a major case for chances of an Emmy, the main parts of both issues were dropped and the investigative reporter became more woman than professional...

Now I'm not convinced that the public has a right to know everything; however, this reader felt torn by the ending--no, I admit it I just didn't like the ending! After all the work and trouble? While I can recommend it, sure would like to hear from some of you out there who also read it. Am I wrong to think disclosure was important in a novel with an investigative reporter as the main character? Drive Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan was my first book by this writer, but this one didn't attract my interest to read the rest of her series...

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G. A. Bixler



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