Laurens' books, in my opinion, have been getting worse and worse. I enjoyed many of her earlier stories about the Cynster clan - they were lightweight but didn't pretend to be anything else. This second book in her latest series, though, has pretenses (as did the previous one) of being some sort of adventure/espionage tale about the British East India Company era in India and England. However, the story is so thin and wildly unbelievable and the villains so paper-thin in characterization that the plot falls apart even before it has a chance to begin. (Think Robin Hood vs. the evil Sheriff of Nottingham, without the humor.) Moreover, in this particular journey, the female character is so completely self-centered and shallow as to be complaining to her diary, amidst attacks by a fanatical assassin cabal which is supposedly responsible for horrific torture and widespread abuse against men, women and children, that she hasn't enough time to determine whether the male hero is "the one" for her. She literally seems to be oblivious to the fact that these supposed terrorists are responsible for death and mayhem all over India. And then of course, true to standard Laurens fare, the hero and heroine spend the next chapter rolling around in her bunk. BLEAH!
I've read and enjoyed the entire Troubleshooters series up to this point - and I plan to continue working my way through the series. But I have to say that this story will not make my "Suzanne Brockmann top ten" list. There were two problems - one with the plot and one with the narration. The problem with the plot is that it seems the author couldn't decide what the main plot line should be. There are two stories here and, trying not to be a spoiler here, I just have to say that they got in the way of each other instead of enhancing each other, in my opinion. The other problem was with the narration - I couldn't figure out any reason for there to be two narrators of this book - the switches between narrators seemed to have absolutely nothing to do with the plot line or characters. It just seemed rather random and didn't add anything to the listening experience. And one other (minor but distracting) issue - the male narrator insisted on pronouncing continuing character Max Bhagat's name like a long thin loaf of French bread - "baguette" (emphasis on the last syllable) - instead of as it's spelled - "bag-at" with the emphasis on the first syllable. Where did that come from, I wonder?
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