Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book #21: Wrong Number (Whitney Book #4)

Wrong NumberTitle: Wrong Number
Author: Rachelle J. Christensen

Aubree is having a bad morning. She has morning sickness. She can't find her phone. And when she borrows her husband's phone, she gets a strange phone call about a dead body. It prompts her to call the police, and pretty soon Aubree learns that her husband was murdered (in sort of an anticlimactic way) and she needs to move to an FBI safe house.

The FBI isn't very good at keeping Aubree safe, and no one's quite sure why. She learns that the mysterious call and her husband's murder are part of a big plot to assassinate the Secretary of Defense, but no one can figure out how they're related. And people make numerous attempts on Aubree's life, including a near-poisoning while she's in the hospital giving birth. She eventually breaks out of FBI care and solves the mystery herself (with the help of a hot park ranger).

I thought Christensen did a good job of getting the novel started with a bang. With two murders in the first few chapters, I wanted to read more. But then there are weird gaps. Six weeks, then a couple months, then six more months, and the action of the story loses some of its momentum. I also feel like Aubree and Wyatt (the park ranger) are relatively one-dimensional characters. Finally, the huge mystery seems to revolve around a poorly-explained element of technology, which feels like too much of a brush off to work effectively.

Wrong Number had a lot of potential with its engaging beginning, but it felt like all the steam went out of it after the first few chapters. While I love the idea of a woman with a newborn kicking butt, breastfeeding, and solving crimes, I wish the story had held together a little better.

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