Christine Carbo is an excellent writer. She draws the reader into her characters’ world, making them see what they see, putting the reader into their fictional shoes. Her descriptions and insights are wonderful. That said, for a suspense novel, her writing is a little too good. By that I mean that perhaps it’s too literary. The wonderfully crafted sentences detract from the story’s momentum.
Maybe I’m alone in this as a reader and a writer, but I feel there’s a huge distinction between sentences that leave you breathless due to beautifully crafted language and those that leave you breathless due to magnificently crafted suspense. It’s hard for the two to meet. Not impossible, but hard.
The good news is that over the course of the hundreds of pages of a novel, there’s a time and a place for both. Reading is like breathing. When the tension mounts, the sentences, like our breathes, need to become shorter – quick, simple and easy, with nothing to take the reader out of the zone. Wordiness bogs the reader down, slowing their pace, their breathing, their heartbeat. It brings them back to reality, and who wants that?
I enjoyed this book, but found it a little too slow because of the good writing. Is that a valid complaint? Carbo in a new author and I have a feeling she’s got wonderful things in store for her readers. I love reading about Montana’s wilderness and Glacier National Park. 4-4.5 stars.