Sunday, November 23, 2014

Andrew Gross: No Way Back

Andrew Gross takes the readers into a world where one decision not only alters a woman's life forever but puts everyone around her in danger:

Wendy meets a stranger at a bar and normally she would not even entertain talking to him, but she feels like her husband and her are drawing apart and her friend is not showing up so she can vent has placed her in a new situation. The conversation eventually lead to her going up to his hotel room but things don't go quite as planned, Wendy ends up witnessing a murder and now is on the run for her life. Those hunting her are not your typical bad guys, actually they are on the completely other side of the law. She is on the run from Homeland security agent who is looking to shut Wendy up permanently and frame her for murder while he is at it. Wendy has not only put herself in danger but everyone she turns to as well. The only way to get out of this is to figure out why they wanted the man from the bar dead, but time is ticking and there is more than one player who wants to see Wendy disappear permanently.

Okay, this book was never able to completely draw me in. I know that this book was supposed to be suspenseful and the beginning of the book certainly would fit this description. Gross does a great job of pulling the reader in the first few chapters of Wendy being on the run but then it slows down quite a bit. It is almost like Gross put all the action and suspense in the first part of the book and then did not have enough for the second half of it. I found myself waning in reading this book and it personal felt like it took forever for Wendy to put the pieces in place that we as the reader are aware of from the two side by side stories that Gross has for part of the novel. 

Overall I enjoyed the mystery aspect in the book and the connection that Gross was able to create to the first scene in the book where 5 Americans are gunned down by a strong Cartel in Mexico and how everything stems from that. As I said before I felt like it took Wendy too long to make the connection. If we did not have Lauritzia's point of view the was Wendy acted would have been okay, but since we do it seems to take forever to bring the two women together, which you know is what Gross is going to do.

I'm not sure how to describe Wendy as a character. Gross basically describes her as an urban mom, who used to be an ex-cop but has had some marriage problems which basically lead her into the mess she finds herself in. I think my main problem with the description is the ex-cop part. Other than identifying herself as one in the beginning of the book, there is no other reference to her being an ex-cop (other than her retelling the story over and over again) and her actions are really basic that I think really anyone would think of. I think that an ex-cop would have better ideas, and more experience of where they would look for information and how to go to ground and what to expect in an investigation of this type. Wendy uses her cell phone, relies on friends which puts them in danger and went to places where I thought the Homeland guys would be for sure.

This is the first book that I have read by Gross, and I did like the story overall and the interconnection of the two stories. I have read some other reviews about this book from readers who have read other Gross novels and many of them stated this was one of his weaker books. That has me impressed and makes me want to find some other titles by this author.

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