Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review: Almost Home, Pam Jenoff

Jordan Weiss hasn’t been back to England since grad school over a decade ago. Her successful career as an intelligence officer for the U.S. State Department has allowed her to travel all over the world, but she’s vowed never to return to the place where her college boyfriend drowned in a tragic accident. Then she receives a letter from a terminally ill friend, and she has no choice but to go back. Her plans to focus on her assignment and her friend are quickly disrupted when a former classmate appears with a shocking revelation: Jared’s death was no accident. As the connections between Jared’s death and her official assignment mount, Jordan knows she has to uncover a deadly secret before she is silenced forever.

Almost Home has a lot of potential as a murder mystery. A few of the “coincidences” in the novel are a little far fetched to be realistic, but over all, it has a great plot. I did suspect it would end as it did, but that was only one of the possible scenarios I came up with. The way Jordan switches from American to English terminology, depending on her location does give the reader the sense that she is well travelled. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the book at all. Pam Jenoff writes everything in the present tense, even when the main character is having a flashback. This made it hard for me to read in several areas, but to be fair, it is just a personal preference. My biggest complaint is that I did not find Jordan to be a believable main character. The whole premise of the book surrounds her grief over the loss of Jared, “the one man she ever loved.” But she seems to wind up in bed with almost every straight male character at some point; the whole time searching for the truth about her one true love. Readers should be aware that there is a lot of “adult content” in the book, but for those who don’t mind that, it has a great ending that leads into her Jenoff’s next book, Hidden Things.

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