Friday, December 20, 2019

Forward Action in Search and Rescue Novel Gets Bogged Down by Details, Details, and More Details

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When a woman goes missing in the Colorado wilderness, Sheriff Colm McCormac calls on skilled and capable Pru Hathaway to find her.  An archaeological law enforcement ranger for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the 42-year-old is also the handler of the only search and rescue dog in the county.  If anyone can find the missing hunter, it's Pru and her dog.  Despite few clues and worsening weather, Pru is determined to find the woman, no matter what the risk.  The more she learns about Amy Raye Latour, a 32-year-old wife and mother, the more determined—even obsessed—Pru becomes with solving the mystery of Amy Raye's disappearance.  Can she find the woman before exposure kills her?  Or is she already on the hunt for a corpse?

I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of exciting search and rescue stories set in remote places where danger lurks around every corner.  That explains why I picked up Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets.  Did it satisfy my craving for riveting action/adventure reading?  Kind of.  The novel definitely tells a compelling story.  Problem is, the plot gets bogged down by details.  Lots and lots and lots of details.  If you're looking for adrenaline-fueled action with shocking twists and turns to keep you burning through pages, you're not going to find them here.  This is a straight-up survival/ search-and-rescue story, told from the alternating perspectives of the woman doing the surviving and the one doing the searching.  As we get to know both, their secrets and backstories are slowly revealed, making the book more character- than plot-driven.  Except for Amy Raye, who's kind of hard to take, the cast is likable and interesting.  The prose is capable, just way too detailed for me.  For all these reasons, I liked Breaking Wild but didn't end up loving it.  Looking back, I had the same complaints with The Last Woman in the Forest, so maybe Les Becquets just isn't for me.


Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a couple F-bombs, plus milder expletives), sexual content, violence, blood/gore, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Breaking Wild from Barnes & Noble with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

4 comments:

  1. Including too many details can really slow a narrative, can't it?

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  2. This sounds like a bit of a slog which is too bad because the premise looks great! I love the search and rescue plot too but I think I'll pass this one up.

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  3. Too bad this book was a bit slow. I do enjoy books involving K-9s and search and rescue, so will probably like this one, even if it is not the thriller advertised. Great review Susan.

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  4. Too many details can be a killer for a book. Too bad this author couldn't cull some of it out (isn't that the editor's job?!)

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