Wednesday, June 4, 2014

definitely a beach read: Eyes on You, by Kate White

Harper, 2014
320 pp
ARC (my thanks to the publisher)

Eyes on You is a definite candidate for the summer beach bag. It's a mystery novel you can read quickly, the plot is pretty uncomplicated, and while the story gets a little twisty here and there, at its heart the book is a really just an old-fashioned whodunit set in the world of TV journalism.  

After being sidelined for a while, Robin Trainer is finally back in the limelight. Not only has she had a new book published, she's co-hosting a very popular morning TV show.  Her audience loves her.  It's too bad that the admiration of her audience doesn't ooze out into the real world -- some unknown person is making her life miserable. It starts at a book party where she finds a particularly nasty note in her purse, then back at her job things start getting weird.  It seems that someone has it in for Robin, but it doesn't take her long to hone in on a potential suspect. But, like any whodunit, things may not be exactly as they seem.

Crime fiction and mysteries are my favorite genre in the reading universe, and unlike this novel, most of what's being published nowadays is loaded down with extraneous stuff that gets in the way of the main plotline. Eyes on You has its twists, but it is very straightforward, making it very easy to read.    I got caught up in the whodunit aspect of this book and the armchair detective in me was happy to have incorrectly guessed the culprit not just once, but twice. (As an aside, when I guess correctly I never read that author again  -- way too easy).  When the culprit is unmasked, the big reveal, which is a complete surprise, fits well into the plotline and makes sense.   At the same time, I just couldn't get into the characters in this book. They have very little depth, and for the most part, come across as one dimensional and shallow with very little substance. I mean, seriously, it's hard to gather sympathy for the main character when literally the very first thing you read in the novel is her thoughts about her new Chanel "fuck you" shoes.  I felt alienated from this person from the outset.

The fun in this book is in the guessing and trying to figure out who has it in for Robin enough to want to torment her, so I'd say if you want some crime light in this year's beach book bag, Eyes on You just might be the ticket. Even though it's a bit too light for my personal preference, I've read some early reviews where people are loving this novel. 

My thanks to Harper, and to TLC book tours, where Eyes on You is on tour through July 7th.

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