Friday, December 29, 2017

The Gardener's Secret by Jamie Cortland

Eddie drove south on AIA from Delray, glancing occasionally to the oceanfront homes on his left looking for laws and young women that appeared to need his special brand of TLC. As he slowed down to observe the mansion on his left, a beautiful auburn haired woman, who appeared to be in her early thirties,
opened the massive front door and walked down the curved driveway to the bright red Ferrari. Opening the door, she slid into it, turned over the engine, and pulled out of the driveway heading north. Whoever she was she needed his services. He pulled into the parking lot down the road, turned around, and drove north, slowing down long enough to take down the address of her home. Once he'd taken down the address he picked up speed. When he was close enough, he memorized the number of the license plate.
When he returned to the small apartment he was renting in Pompano Beach, he booted up his computer. After a thorough search, he discovered that the Giardinis, both partners in JVS Development Company owned the Ferrari and the home jointly. He watched the home and the two occupants for several days. When the woman left with Mr. Giardini on Friday morning, he followed them to JVS's offices. Several hours later, she left aloone to run errands and returned home without her husband. Down the street from her home, he parked in a lot by the intra-coastal and waited for her to step out of her home again. It was not long. When she did, he continued tailing her, hoping that she would go to a department store or to the post office so that he could go into the store and catch a closer glimpse of her, maybe bump into her and even speak with her. But he realized that wasn't going to happen when she returned to the office.
He sighed, satisfied. He'd seen the woman of his dreams and he intended to have her, one way or another.
~~~


The Gardener's Secret

By Jamie Cortland


This is the second book, now listed on Amazon, published by this author and her villains are similar in both books. In fact, the first chapter in this book introduces that villain, a stalker, who makes it quite clear that he has found his next "woman of his dreams." He is a gardener who uses his charm to get hired and then proceeds...

The book is a merge of two genres the author has written in...more romance than suspense but also drama.  If you enjoy watching/reading what happens in the daily lives of individual characters, then do check this out...

Dannie Giardini is the main female character, while, in the second chapter we learn that her husband was scheduled to fly on a plane that later crashed. After some investigation, there is a basis for belief that he might not have been on the plane, but, if not, where is he?

Dannie has been in business with her husband and his partner, and Sal works to help Dannie adjust to Vince, her husband, being gone.

A twist comes in fairly early as Dannie meets a stranger, who happens to have a cousin--a woman who had been in an affair with Vince and had a child... Dannie, by the way, is attracted to that stranger, but fights her feelings...

The author chooses to tell her story rather than have her characters act out more of what is happening (not recommended and referred to as the "show not tell" method). When I read a book like this, I think of daily television dramas where you sit back to watch the story unfold, but don't really get the chance to participate in what is happening. For me, there really was no suspense as each character was identified immediately as to his intent and role... Readers knew what to look for and expect--no twists or turns that were unexpected, except for perhaps one when Dannie chooses to meet Vince's lover and what she does...

Throw in a murder to provide more knowledge about our stalker and his urges... 

The ending is anti-climatic with an ending that was totally expected... It's a good story, well written... Frankly, however, from the title and cover, I expected...more...suspense. The story is laid out as if an outline was created...and then the story was written... This reader found no way to become involved with the characters...The plot is fairly simple, information presented immediately, and then developed in a pattern that smoothly flowed, so smoothly that I grew bored with the lack of any complexity beyond the basic framework included in the first chapters. If you read closely, everything, including the murder, is covered within the narrative in advance, not as a clue, but merely as part of the storyline...

Do check out other reviews for the book...In my opinion, the author needs to read other writers and see the presentation of suspense. Suspense normally heightens action and tantalizes the reader with the hope of questioning what will be happening. While those are my thoughts, it is a good concept, so you decide what kind of reader you are. I admit I have a problem with books that tells rather than shows, even though some writers do use it...

GABixlerReviews