Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Hand that Feeds You by A. J. Rich

The Hand That Feeds YouMorgan's life seems to be settled - she is completing her thesis on victim psychology and newly engaged to Bennett, a man more possessive than those she has dated in the past, but also more chivalrous and passionate.

But she returns from class one day to find Bennett savagely killed, and her dogs - a Great Pyrenees, and two pit bulls she was fostering - circling the body, covered in blood. Everything she holds dear in life is taken away from her in an instant.

Devastated and traumatised, Morgan tries to locate Bennett's parents to tell them about their son's death. Only then does she begin to discover layer after layer of deceit. Bennett is not the man she thought he was. And she is not the only woman now in immense danger ...

The premise of this novel is interesting, but its execution leaves quite a lot to be desired. The pacing is stilted, with lurches of action that then slow down to a crawl, and with writing that sometimes reads as less than professional. 

The story does have some satisfying moments, but its conclusion is much too rushed, with the protagonist getting her life back together in about two paragraphs. There is also quite a bit of “telling”, entire important scenes brushed aside with a  few words. It feels like the author got bored halfway through some plot points and decided to speed things along, no matter how awkward it read.

More than anything, the novel needed a few more intensive rounds of editing to get rid of some of the forced sentences and the uneven pacing that plagues its pages.

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