"It was up to God now whether they survived or not."
Before I go into the review of this book I would first like to disclose a few things. I was not supposed to like this book. I agreed to post a fair review in exchange for a copy, but was not sure if it would even be posted on this blog (rather than just on Amazon and such). Being a romance crime novel, I had thought that it would truly not be my cup of tea, no matter how well written. I was entirely wrong. I LOVE this book. Hopefully their story will continue? Well then, let's plunge right in then!
Detective Scarlet Anne Martins, originally from South Africa, works as an investigator for the NYPD. That is, she did until her entire world is torn apart in a series of events. Conspiracy abounds, and Martins is left unable to be certain of who she can trust. Not even the disturbingly handsome and talented Alaric Blade, who at every instance appears to be her guardian angel. But is she just being maneuvered by him? This question becomes even more dangerous, as she finds herself becoming less able to resist his charms the longer she is around him. Being framed for crimes of terrorism, Martins must uncover the evidence which will bury the dirt-bags who set her up. She must do so, while avoiding capture by the police or the criminals, without resources, and before every trace of evidence evaporates. Will she get a step ahead of the game before it is too late?
What I liked about this book
Realistic Romantic Development
The main protagonists certainly do not have love at first sight. Martins started out as viewing Alaric as an overdressed, arrogant, Special Agent which had been thrust upon her investigation. Their transition from this initial contact was not easy or convenient. In fact, their relationship was a rather tenuous affair for most of the story. For those who want a story with gratuitous amounts of steaminess, this is not your book. I however, found their doubts and inconvenient circumstances to be refreshing. I don't imagine that many romance stories will delve into this aspect of relationships, but the uncertainty and unsatisfied longing made the lives of these two tangible, potent, and more realistic.
Action, Suspense, and Plot Twists
It never seems to slow down. Even when Martins and Alaric are not in imminent danger, the narrative directs attention to the torrent of their minds. Like the romantic development, the action was realistic, as nobody was some sort of rare human weapon. The constant flow of events and action kept the ball rolling smoothly. The plot was like a mythical hydra. With every answered question, came more questions.
Locales and Sensory Details
Like many other “cat and mouse” stories, Infallible follows our heroes around various settings. The diverse landscape of the East Coast is used effectively to provide new challenges as the environment changes. Quinn spared no important environmental details and sensory clues. In many instances, I found myself immersed in their world; feeling every jarring bump in the road, the biting cold of a Pennsylvania winter, and the stark terror of an armed stand-off.
What I disliked about this book
Do not read it. I have heard more than a few people say that they do not read prologues. I would suppose the common sentiment, is that prologues delay the start of stories and can create confusion instead of questions. In this instance the latter accusation is especially true. There were times where I had re-read a paragraph several times just to get the pronouns sorted out. While this may be a failing on my part as a reader, I still believe that certain things should definitely not be displayed out of context.
While I try to not to look too deeply into the accuracy of technical details in a story, there are some instances where the error is provocative to the point of distracting. To be entirely fair, many of the technical errors I found would be overlooked by most readers, as specific training or education would be needed to spot them. There are two exceptions of “I'm just being obsessive,” and merit mention:
(1) References of position and movement within a complex building. When a character's movement has enough details, I not only visualize it, but also see the spatial orientation. That is, my mind keeps track of where they are, and how they got there. In one scene, there was some ambiguity of how the prison facility was laid out. I lost my inertia as I tried to figure it out. I would either suggest vague descriptions, or a detailed model to serve as a reference.
(2) Continuity of characters present within a scene. Much like visualizing the layout of a building, I also see the positioning of people within it. In the prison scene, I had to go back and start counting people up. More detail should be given to explaining arrivals, departures, and encounters of characters.
I recommend this book, as a challenge, to anyone who think they can't enjoy a romance.
About Bailey Quinn (from author's website, edited for updated info)
Bailey Quinn is the pen name for Award winning YA science fiction writer, Carlyle Labuschagne who resides in the beautiful country of South Africa. This die-hard dreamer who is fascinated by a great story is compelled to share these imaginary worlds with others.
Her love for writing spills over into every aspect of her life where she has founded a library project aimed at the youth, creator of SAIR writers events, and is co-founder of a publishing company. Her other addictions include cappuccino, being outdoors with her loves ones, and avoiding dishes at all cost.
Her next SF crime thriller Tethered, set for release in 2017, also takes place in the wonderfully exciting city of NYC where she has visited a few times and found that by writing about it - will keep the city in her heart and mind forever more...
I love books! For most of my life I have been reading them, and giving my insights to friends and family. This blog is for sharing that passion with the many others that love books too.