Thursday, June 2, 2011

S. L. Pierce: Secrets

In a debut indie novel S. L. Pierce explores not only a marriage where secrets are kept but the secrets that we all keep in order to survive in this world.

Gwen has been keeping a secret from her husband since the day that they met, she used to be an assassin for the USA government, and when a man enters her house with the design to kill her she thinks her cover has been blown. Gwen now must protect the life and family that she has now, and when a seemingly inconspicuous event has turned her whole world upside down she will stop at nothing to setting things right using her very own black and white set of moral and skills.

This book piqued my interest from the very first lines "Don't move,' he said. It wasn't the words that concerned me. It was the cold metal presses against my temple" (Pierce, p. 1). I mean if that does not get you interested I don't know what will. This book is a quick read (165 pages on my nook), but being a short book does not mean that the book lacked in story (I have read books that were many times longer than this one and did not have as well rounded as a story).  This book would be classified within the mystery genre with a touch of action and romance.

My one problem with the book is that it was pretty straightforward in how Gwen and Jack were able to put the clues together, and there were a few more twists and turns but once again it was a short book. I also wish there would have been something more that had grown out of Officer Walters interaction within the book. I think that the parts in the novel with Officer Walters did not need to be there, as they did not add that much suspense to the story and how they wrapped up in the end, was not what i expected (but not in a good way). I think Pierce lost a great opportunity not developing the Officer Walters aspect more. However, I think the writing style, story, character development and ideas are there if Pierce were decide to make the venture into a full novel.

Gwen is a really strong character, although she may be a few years out of the assassination business she still has many of the skills in order to protect her life and Jack's. Gwen has a strong sense of morality and what she sees as right and wrong, it is very black and white to her. She points out a few times within the book that she is not a psychopath, but she does have some tendencies of one. Jack, her husband, is the perfect balance for Gwen's black and white view on life and helping develop a better way to getting people to talk to her other than torture. The reader also gets to see Gwen and Jack's relationship redevelop as the secrets that Gwen has kept about her previous life come out. I actually think that this is where Pierce's talent was in this book was her development and change shown within her characters and their relationship (remember this is only 165 page book, so in order to have these developments and have them flow well and make sense is a great feat, and Pierce is able to achieve it flawlessly).

The more I think about it I do wish that the book was longer as I am intrigued about the characters and I think with a slightly longer book Pierce would have been able to further develop the characters, their relationship and create a more in depth mystery story. That said I think that when Pierce decides to write longer books, I think that she has the writing style and possible the beginning of a series that many will enjoy (I'm thinking either following Gwen and Jack, or books that are centered around the other women who were part of Gwen's assassin "team"). If you are looking for a book to read a fairly fast paced novel with a good mixture of mystery, action and a touch of romance, this is for you. Plus you are supporting a indie author and we need to more and more of that. You can find Pierce's book on Smashwords.


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