Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Book Review: If I Should Die by Jennie Hansen (Whitney Finalist)

Title: If I Should Die
Author: Jennie Hansen
Enjoyment Rating: 6/10
Referral: Whitney Finalist
Source: Electronic copy
Books I've read this year: 51

I was out running a few mornings ago. It was dark, and I was by myself, and I was listening to my iPod, when I heard branches cracking and the sound of footsteps. I pulled my earbuds out and prepared to either flee onto Wasatch Blvd or kick someone in the crotch when a deer came leaping out past me. It took me a few seconds to catch my breath, and for that I blame Jennie Hansen, whose book, If I Should Die, (spoiler alert) is about a serial killer who preys on Salt Lake's unsuspecting female runners. Awesome-- now, in addition to cars, deer, ice, and dogs, I also need to worry about serial killers.

If I Should Die is part suspense, part murder mystery, and part romance. When Kallene's running buddy Linda goes missing, police are pretty sure that Linda's soon-to-be-ex-husband did it, but Kallene isn't so sure. Over the course of the next few months (the time jumps are frustrating in this book), Kallene tries to figure out who is responsible for her friend's disappearance, while also saving the day at the office (that part of the story didn't feel integrated or relevant to the rest of the novel) and dating both the lead detective and the victim's brother. It seems that everyone in Kallene's Herriman neighborhood is a creepy potential suspect (and if I were her I think I'd move away). This book didn't quite come together for me-- first of all, it seems a little bit unlikely that Linda's killer had to come from their subdivision, and the rest of the story wasn't unified enough for me. And from now on, I'll always be looking over my shoulder when I run.

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