Low Pressure by Sandra Brown

April 29, 2013

low pressure Plot summary (from the publisher): Bellamy Lyston was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. Bellamy’s fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene along with her memory of what really happened during the day’s most devastating moments.

Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a sensational, bestselling novel based on Susan’s murder. Because the book was inspired by the tragic event that still pains her family, she published it under a pseudonym to protect them from unwanted publicity. But when an opportunistic reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on fact, Bellamy’s identity is exposed along with the family scandal.

Moreover, Bellamy becomes the target of an unnamed assailant who either wants the truth about Susan’s murder to remain unknown or, even more threatening, is determined to get vengeance for a man wrongfully accused and punished.

In order to identify her stalker, Bellamy must confront the ghosts of her past, including Dent Carter, Susan’s wayward and reckless boyfriend — and an original suspect in the murder case. Dent, with this and other stains on his past, is intent on clearing his name, and he needs Bellamy’s sealed memory to do it. But her safeguarded recollections -once unlocked-pose dangers that neither could foresee and puts both their lives in peril.

As Bellamy delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Susan’s slaying, she discovers disturbing elements of the crime which call into question the people she holds most dear. Haunted by partial memories, conflicted over her feelings for Dent, but determined to learn the truth, she won’t stop until she reveals Susan’s killer.

That is, unless Susan’s killer strikes her first…

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • Thank god Brown didn’t do something stupid like make Bellamy or Dent the killer. There was kind of a “twist” regarding the killer’s identity, as it turned out that Olivia (Bellamy’s stepmother) actually did it. But there were a lot of hints that it might have been either Bellamy or Dent, and I’m just glad those turned out to be red herrings.

Disliked:

  • The story moved so damn slowly in so many places that it took forever for me to slog through this book. Brown did very little to create suspense or tension on the pages, so there was nothing compelling me to move forward–except my own desire to finish the damn thing.
  • I listened to the audiobook version of Low Pressure, and the reading was godawful–especially for Dent’s dialogue. For some reason, the narrator decided to read all of Dent’s lines in a monotonous deadpan. This made his come on lines to Bellamy sound ridiculous as hell and made me wonder what she ever saw in him. I might have liked Dent if I’d actually read the book and determined his voice/tone for myself. As it was, I couldn’t stand him.
  • Another reason I hated Dent is that his advances towards Bellamy came at very inappropriate/inopportune times. Couldn’t he see that there were bigger issues to deal with than whether or not she would sleep with him?
  • Ray (the deranged brother of the wrongly accused killer) didn’t sound dangerous, just cartoonish.
  • Brown spent way too much time on scenes featuring only minor characters, like the driver from http://www.tampalimotransportation.com/ or wherever. Obviously it’s good to flesh out the secondary characters to some extent, but she went too far, IMO. This is a big reason the book dragged so much.
  • Corrupt cops and politicians were behind sending an innocent man to jail. Gee, what an original concept.

Rating:

I thought Low Pressure would be more mystery/suspense than romance, but boy was I wrong. I guess I should have done my research into Sandra Brown before checking this one out of the library. Though the mystery plot was the driving force here, it mostly played second fiddle to Bellamy and Dent, which was unfortunate since I didn’t feel any chemistry whatsoever between those characters. Add in the glacial pace of the novel as a whole and you get a recipe for disaster. I give this book 1 star out of 5.

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