Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Review: The Line Between Here and Gone by Andrea Kane

The Line Between Here and Gone by Andrea Kane
published by Mira (Harlequin) in June 2012
The man she loved is gone forever. The child she lives for could be next. Each day is a struggle for Amanda Gleason's newborn son as he battles a rare immune deficiency. Justin's best chance for a cure lies with his father, who was brutally murdered before Amanda even realized she carried his child.

Or was he?

One emailed photo changes everything, planting a seed of doubt that Amanda latches on to for dear life: a recent photo of a man who looks exactly like Paul. Could Justin's father be alive? The mother in her is desperate to find out. But tracking down a ghost when every second counts is not for amateurs.

Forensic Instincts is the one team up for the challenge.

A behaviorist. A former navy SEAL. A techno-wizard. An intuitive. A retired FBI agent. A human-scent-evidence dog. Together they achieve the impossible, pushing ethical and legal boundaries whenever the ends justify the means.

The manhunt is on for the elusive father. Yet the further FI digs into his past, the more questions are raised about whether the man Amanda fell in love with ever really existed at all.

Dark secrets. Carefully crafted lies. From the congressional halls of Washington, D.C., to exclusive Hamptons manors, there are ruthless people who would stop at nothing to make Forensic Instincts forget about the man Amanda desperately needs to find.

Little do they realize that once Forensic Instincts takes the case, nothing will stop them from uncovering the shocking truth that transcends The Line Between Here and Gone.
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Series: Forensic Instincts, Book #2

The Story: Wowzer this blurb is long, LOL. I guess that's why it's so accurate and describes the book so well I don't have to attempt it :)

My Opinion: All right, so this review is going to be sweet and short :) Basically, the strengths and weaknesses of The Line Between Here and Gone are the same as its predecessor, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice. I thought the premise of this story was very good and intriguing. I mean, reading the blurb, you can't help but wonder whether Paul, the baby's father, is dead or alive, good or evil. And I thought Ms Kane did a great job with the mystery she delivered. It was truly intriguing, interesting and played on all the doubts and questions readers had from the blurb :) Also, the fact that a baby's life was in jeopardy, it really pushed the investigation forward. What I also enjoyed is that it was hard to tell who were the good guys and who were the bad ones. Nothing was obvious and there were quite a few surprises, which is always something you want in mystery books :)

So the mystery was definitively the strength of The Line Between Here and Gone. What was the weakness then? I'd say the emotional aspect of this book. First, I have to say I liked Forensic Instincts - the PI organization - better in The Line Between Here and Gone than I did in The Girl Who Disappeared Twice. I felt they were more together and skirting the lines of law wasn't their priority. Or perhaps in this case, it was warranted. I also felt less lost in The Line Between Here and Gone, being more familiar with the characters, the organization and how they worked. I also enjoyed Casey and Hutch's relationship - I really liked seeing Hutch offer his help in Casey's case. It's refreshing that the two cooperated instead of drawing a line and standing on two opposite sides or jumping at each other's throat to see who would lead the investigation. In this case, it was clearly Casey's investigation and so Hutch fell into line. But let's get back to the book's weakness. Well it's been hinted in The Girl Who Disappeared Twice that Ryan, the geek of FI, and Claire, the psychic, were attracted to each other. But instead of flirting, they took the other way to express their attraction: grating each other's nerve LOL. Well in The Line Between Here and Gone, the two jumped into bed - even though they don't like each other much, and let just say they don't handle the aftermath really well. I thought that part was really annoying... It just created tension and conflict for nothing. At least, if they had a vague idea of how to handle it afterwards, it wouldn't be so bad. But in this case? It was just awkward and perhaps unnecessary as relationships are not the focus of this series.

Something else that I really didn't enjoy in The Line Between Here and Gone was the psychic aspect of Claire's ability. It's no secret that I love Kay Hooper's FBI SCU series and unfortunately, that means whenever there are psychics involved in an investigation, there'll be a comparison ^_^; And in this case, well The Line Between Here and Gone fell short :( First, I felt that Claire's abilities were not explained/described enough and the boundaries/parameters, not established. Is her clairvoyance triggered by touch? By violence? What stops her from always being a receiver? Is there people that she can read and others that can't? Did she get visions, feelings, thoughts or all of it? From the past, present and future? It wasn't too bad in The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, but in The Line Between Here and Gone, Claire's role in the investigation was big and ultimately, my complaint is that she was just getting/picking too much information from her abilities ^_^; And sometimes, out of nowhere. Like she didn't need a lifeline or a contact anymore, she was connected 24/7. I also felt it was a bit too convenient... like whenever Ms Kane didn't know how to plug a critical element into the story, she'd have the psychic. Overall, I just felt the psychic aspect wasn't well done and well integrated into the story.

Finally, despite its strengths and its flaws, what was most interesting in my opinion about The Line Between Here and Gone was the ethical questions it raised. A bit like the issue between Eve and Homeland in the In Death series, does the end result justify everything? Can you ignore all the bad things happening around that you could stop in order to preserve your investigation? Also, how much can you excuse a mother in despair? All interesting questions that hopefully, I'll never have to face :P

My Grade: C+. I thought The Line Between Here and Gone was better than The Girl Who Disappeared Twice... but something is still missing and I think it's because Ms Kane's transition from romantic suspense to mystery is still not done. Once she finds the balance that she's seeking, I expect the books to be better and more exciting :)