Saturday, November 7, 2015

Midnight on the Mississippi - by Mary Ellis: Book Review

This review is the result of a bad choice in a moment of weakness.

This review contains many, many spoilers. 

I didn't like this book. I requested it back in the summer knowing it would be a light read. The plot on the book's back cover sums up the whole book: Nicki Price, a young investigator, comes to New Orleans to find her big case to solve. Luckily, her cousin - Nathan/Nate, has a Private Investigations company and she decides that's where she'll start because her cousin "owes" her after all his teasing when they were kids. Really? As luck and cliché would have it, Nate and Nicki's client is a rich, handsome, and god-looking man named Hunter Galen. Nicki, despite telling herself and anyone interested in listening to her that she's a professional and competent PI, spends more time fantasizing about her client. For more than half of the book we see Hunter and Nicki act not very stressed out that Hunter is accused of murdering James, his friend and business partner, or that his business might end; they act like two love birds which is plain annoying.
The professional PI, instead of looking for evidence and trying to save her client, goes on to complain about her poor background and bringing up, compares herself to the rich people she encounters while working hired on the case, and is more interested in socializing, bonding, and falling in love with Hunter, Hunter who seems to consider Nicki a diva in disguise, and has no problem kissing her and falling in love, although he has a steady relationship with another woman. Of course he breaks up with her and Nicki takes her place in the blink of an eye, because with Nicki "what you see is what you get" and who needs more reasons than that to fall in love?
Of course, we are not surprised to learn that the ex-girlfriend/fiancée is an evil, spoiled brat, who had an affair with James, and her daddy was the one to kill James to save his sweet spoiled daughter of the shame James would have brought upon her if he revealed her shocking secrets of the past. We only learn all these in a rushed manner towards the end of the book, after we've seen Nicki and Hunter play lovers. It was Nicki who gets all the praise, because she "has a suspicion all along" who the murderer was (but for reasons we don’t know, she doesn’t say a thing, and she even hides information from Hunter because “she doesn’t want him to think she’s jealous or has anything against Ashley”), although she has a hard time figuring out who attacked her, although on the night of the attack she was told that "she should learn to leave other woman's man alone". Such PI! 

In the end, after Nicki becomes a successful PI overnight, engaged to be married to the rich and fabulous Hunter, we are given hints that she has a successful career ahead of her. I wonder if she'll fantasize and fall in love with other clients....

The writing of this book is not bad, but the clichés are too much. I was interested in who murdered James, and it would have been nice if clues were given along the way, but no, we are left with Nicki and Hunter. The ending was rushed, and not a big surprise. The author made observations at some point that gave away the whole ending, for example saying that Ashley surely didn't work alone and she couldn't have murdered someone, it had to be someone with money, and so her dad's name comes up. Maybe the reader shouldn't have known that, instead it would have been more fun to guess who was guilty. The same goes for the scene with Nicki's attack: it was intense, and I was curious who did it and why, but when the phrase "to leave other woman's man alone" was said, it was clear; it just became tiresome to see Hunter and Nicki try to guess who it might have been when we the readers knew all along.

As mentioned, a light read. This is the first book in the Secrets of the South series, but I don't think I'm interested in the other ones. Unless I forget about this one and I fancy a light read again.


I received an ebook version of this book via Net Galley. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

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