Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Review: White Mountain by Dinah McCall

One week + 2 days = 9 days

That's the number of days I haven't stepped into a bookstore. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to remain away from a bookstore. I keep reading this review and that review and I keep going: Oh, this book sounds good and that book too. Ah well, we'll see I guess...

I'm trying to watch the Australian Open, but man... I keep getting unlucky and missing it. The good news tho is that Lleyton Hewitt made it to the 2nd round. Let see how it goes today. He's playing a Canadian - so what should I do? Be all patriotic or root for Lleyton?

Anyway, onto the review :D

White Mountain by Dinah McCall: 4/5
published in April 2002 (Mira-Harlequin)

Frank Walton is an old man, suffering of cancer. Because the end is near, he goes back to Brighton Beach, the little Russia in New York where he grew up to reminisce his childhood. Unfortunately for him, Russia has sent one of their best, but retired, KGB agent -Vasili Rostov- to bring him back to Russia. However, the incident ends up with the death of Walton. Not wanting to go back to his country empty hands, Rostov goes to Braden, Montana - specifically the Abbott House - where Walton lived with 6 other old men.

Meanwhile, in New York, Walton's body has been discovered. However, what's astonishing, as well as intriguing, is that Walton's fingerprints match the ones of a scientist that died more than 30 years ago in a plane crash. This attracts the attention of the FBI which sends their agent, Jack Dolan to Montana to investigate.

In Montana, Isabella Abbott has just buried her father, Sammuel Abbot, and is worried about her Uncle Frank. When she learns of his death, she is quite devastated... Uncle Frank murdered, her father dying from a heart attack... Coincidence? Then, she looks at her remaining uncles: David, Thomas, Jasper, John and Rufus - all old men now who have seen her grown up and helped her father to raise her after her mother died in childbirth. They all lived together at Abbott House, some being botanist, archeologist, so on and others being her father's colleagues at the fertility clinic... but how much does she really know?

Series: none
Genre: contemporary romantic suspense

Review: I almost got all of Dinah McCall's books and White Mountain was one of the rare one I was missing... So I bought it. In addition, I was really intrigued by the whole fingerprints belonging to someone's already dead. However, I never thought this book would turn out this way - a very pleasant surprise.

Characters - See, I've always been weak for old men in real life and in books. Strong or gentle, most of them tug at my heart. So my heart gave out a lot when Frank Walton died. Anyway, I really liked the old men :P As for the main characters, Isabella and Jack, well I did enjoy them a lot :D Isabella has a strong core inside, but she's not overtly strong and tough and it's totally understandable in this situation. She's just lost two persons she cared for a lot and realized that eventually, one by one, her other uncles would leave her too. As for Jack, he's a FBI agent. A bit battered and a bit down, but I wouldn't say his near break-down. He went to Abbott House undercover and credits for him for not wanting to build relationship on lies. Anyway, I liked them and they didn't annoy me at all, but I'd say that there's some depth missing. Ms Sala didn't have time to flesh them out as it should, because she had so much going on...

Story & Writing: well, it's no secret that I love Ms Sala's style/writing... So I won't comment on that aspect. Okay, maybe I'll just say that I like Ms Sala's pacing and her writing is always smooth. As for the story, it was quite interesting. There wasn't too much "threads" so it wasn't hard to follow. What I liked was the idea behind the intrigue was really good and it was well told. The only thing is perhaps the ending seems a bit too easy - I mean, would Jack really recognizes the KBG agent from a picture that was shown during his training at Quantico, of course it's plausible... but this moment is key to leading to the ending and I thought there could have been many other ways, perhaps more interesting.

The Cover - I like... it also keep in style with the other covers of her books published with Mira-Harlequin.

Am I keeping this book? Yes :D It's a good book plus, I want to complete my collection of her books.

Anything else? Not related to White Mountain... but Dinah McCall's next book is The Survivors. Anyone knows when it's coming out? It was first scheduled for April 2006, but I didn't find it anywhere. Then, Chapters online said January 2007, but it's not available for order... Amazon says March 2007 or perhaps April... Meanwhile, the author's website hasn't been updated for a while. Sigh.


  1. LOL - I looked at your grade quickly and thought you gave it a D. Then as I was reading, you seemed to be liking it and I was getting very confused. Then I notice that it was a D but a smile and you gave it a 4/5 *g*. I don't read that much of her - and I'm not really sure why. Jackson Rule is one of my all time very favourites. I should read more of hers. Really I should.

  2. Hey Kristie :D

    Haha, nope, I give my grading in numbers, not letters :P But it's nice you read the review even though you thought it was a bad book. Actually, I think ppl like to read on on negative reviews, because they want to know why it was bad :D

    I liked Jackson Rule too :D It was a nice story... you might also want to try the Perfect Lie and Mimosa Grove, which are two of my favorites by Dinah McCall.

  3. I've watched so much tennis this time. Last year we actually went to the Australian Open...had a great time.

    I don't think we will go this year, but I have been up late watchign all the night matches every night this week.

  4. Hey Nath-it's been one week and three days for me. Yep-10 days and no new books. LOL We should start a support group.

    "You can say no to that book!" hehe

    Mind you, my skin feels itchy and I'm constantly checking my pockets for that infernal list I always create to take to the bookstore with me. :P But I think I'm doing good so far.

  5. This sound really good. I'm totally intrigued by the fingerprints thing and how it turns out. I don't suppose you'd be willing to email me all the spoilers, would you?? PLEASE?!?! PRETTY PLEASE?!?

    I can't buy books until the month is over. I need to pace myself this year, because I bought WAY too many last year. LOL So far this month I've bought 3. I figure if I buy 3..oh, snap. That's a lie. I made a trip to the UBS and got 4 books there...and then I got those 3 at Wal-Mart the other day, but seriously, does Wal-Mart even count? I mean, it's not a BOOKstore, right? So if I pick up a book or two it shouldn't really count against me, should it? What about Target, because I just remember I bought 2 books there yesterday....


    I'm adding this to my list. :P

  6. Marg - you're so lucky! I mean, we do have a tournament here in Montreal; however, one year it's the men, the other year it's the women... and it's not major like a Grand Chelem... but I bet it must be lots of fun. I've been trying to watch it, but I'm missing a lot out because well, when they play, I sleep. In addition, most coverage on tv is of the Americans... so it takes out a wee bit of the enjoyment.

    Ames - I broke down! I went to the bookstore and bought three yesterday :P So bad of me, but this is a good idea, the support group :P with a 12 steps program to learn how to say no. It's really crazy, I have books at home, but I was bored and so wanted to buy another book. *shakes head* I'm hopeless.

    Holly - Sure, I'll write you an email later today :D You don't have to beg for spoilers with me Holly LOL... just as long as when I ask you, you give it to me too :P As for Walmart, Target... no they're not bookstores :P but lucky you, cheaper books!

  7. That's so bad, but totally understandable! LOL I'm doing good so far.

    And the list of 50 I mentioned on my blog? Me and Rowena (from SF) and I are doing a reading challenge thing to read 50 books by June. For me, it's to reduce my TBR pile-and I said I wouldn't buy any books until I finished those 50. *sigh* So I'm still trying to come up with my list, but I haven't had the time.

  8. This is the only grand slam that is on during the year that isn't in the middle of the night for us, so have to take advantage while we can!! LOL!!!