Monday, August 15, 2011
Land of Entrapment by Andi Marquette
Publisher: Regal Crest Enterprises
First novels sometimes suffer from blemishes – characters that aren't completely developed, holes in the plot that needed filling, scenes in the book that had no need to be there. Land of Entrapment doesn't suffer from any of those problems.
Neo-Nazi and other white supremacist organizations are an unfortunate fact of life in the United States today and they seem to flourish in the western states where the open spaces allow them to operate without being constantly watched. K.C. Fontero has built her career from studying the various groups and how they function, but her work has been purely academic until her ex-lover Melissa asks for her help. Melissa's sister has fallen under the influence of one of the groups and Melissa wants K.C. to use her expertise to help get her back. It's a difficult decision for K.C. because she and Melissa parted on bad terms, but she left a lot behind in Albuquerque that she'd like to get back and she knows she will be doing a good thing for Megan.
Returning to New Mexico brings her back to an area and friends she loves and never really wanted to leave in the first place, but she didn't anticipate two things that would happen. The deeper she digs into the situation, the greater the danger becomes to both her and Megan. And K.C. meets an amazing woman, one who might be able to finally heal the hurt in her soul, if K.C. can just learn to stop running and face her own fear.
Andi Marquette has written a very solid first novel. It is well told and the characters are fully developed. The reader will know what motivates them at each step and they follow a logical progression. Even better, these characters seem real. At the crisis point in the story, K.C. doesn’t turn into some sort of an avenging Rambo to suddenly save the day and overpower the bad guy. She's scared and she panics a little, just like the reader probably would.
As a relationship begins to develop between K.C. and Sage, where too many other writers would have them tumbling into bed immediately, Marquette has Sage tell K.C. to go away because K.C. isn't ready. This book is full of mature women who have more important things to do in their lives than to constantly be trying to get another woman's clothes off and into bed.
There are no extraneous scenes in the book where the reader will ask why it's there. Each scene adds another piece to the picture, building the puzzle to completion. The book also shows a great deal of research into a topic that is very current, but that often floats just below the headlines where most people don't pay attention to it. Major news organizations choose to ignore the seething bitterness that keeps the white supremacy movements functioning.
This is a satisfying book to read. It keeps the pages turning. It builds tension as it goes, both in the apprehension as to what the white supremacists will do and what will happen in the new relationship K.C. is experiencing, and holds the reader's interest. It presents a solid basis for what appears to be a new mystery series featuring these characters. The quality of this book certainly is a recommendation for whatever book Marquette writes next.