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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Generic Thriller Fails to ... Thrill

(Image from Indiebound)

For New Yorker Lake Warren, summer usually means relaxing in the Catskills with her family. Not anymore. Newly separated from her husband of 14 years, she's facing divorce proceedings and a vicious custody battle. Nothing relaxing about that. In fact, her lawyer suggests, she needs to be as vigilant and nunlike as possible until the divorce is finalized. It's not as if Lake's knocking back admirers with a stick, but the new doctor at the fertility clinic for which she's consulting has been dropping some not-so-subtle hints. Desperate for some male attention, Lake finally succombs to the charms of the very sexy Mark Keaton. A few hours later, she finds him dead, blood pouring out of the open gash in his throat. Shocked and terrified, Lake flees the scene. She can't risk losing her kids over a one-night stand, let alone a murder investigation.

When two detectives come nosing around, Lake does the only thing she can think to do: lie. While the police buy her story for the moment, she knows it's only a matter of time before they discover she was one of the last people to see Keaton alive. If suspicion leads to accusation, what chance does Lake have of keeping her kids? None. The only way to save herself is to find out who killed the handsome doctor.

As Lake investigates the crime, she turns up all kinds of motivations for Keaton's murder; the question is which one led to his death. Did an angry loan shark kill him because of unpaid debts? Or did Keaton discover something about practices at the clinic that put him in danger? Lake knows just how much of a player the guy was - did he tick off the wrong woman this time? As Lake edges closer and closer to the truth, the killer creeps closer and closer to Lake. Can she solve the murder in time? Or will she become the next victim?

Sound pretty generic? That's because there's nothing original about Hush, the newest thriller from Cosmopolitan's editor-in-chief Kate White. The writing's dull, the plot's been done, and not one of White's characters would recognize a personality if it walked up and slapped them across the face. So colorless is this cast that I could hardly tell one player from another - forget actually caring about any of them. Our heroine is no exception. I really didn't give a darn whether she solved the murder, got stuffed into a freezer, or rotted in jail. She never, not once, felt human to me. Likewise, the plot didn't grab me, didn't make me care at all. The fact that I didn't abandon this book after the first chapter says something, I guess, because I did tear through it pretty fast. Still, if I hadn't agreed to review Hush for my friends at TLC Book Tours, I wouldn't have bothered sticking around for Chapter 2.

(Readalikes: Think Mary Higgins Clark, but with a lot more edge and none of the charm.)

Grade: D

If this were a movie, it would be rated: R for language, violence, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love: I received an ARC of Hush from the generous folks at Harper Collins. Thank you!


  1. Ooh, I'm sorry this wasn't as good as you'd hoped. I do appreciate you reading through to the end though. :)

  2. Agree with this review wholeheartedly! This one I should have set aside, but I read to the end. Criticizing the entire way!


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