Monday, May 9, 2011

Too Near The Edge by Lynn Osterkamp

When park rangers find Adam's crumpled body 300 feet below the rim of the Grand Canyon, they think he was one more careless tourist. But back home in Boulder, Colorado, his grief-stricken wife Sharon is sure he was murdered. She won't rest until she knows why he was so troubled in the month before he died. Over the objections of her prominent father, she turns to grief therapist Cleo Sims, who runs a project that re-unites people with dead loved ones. Despite threats and warnings, Cleo takes on the challenge to help Sharon contact Adam and solve the mystery of his death. She gets extra encouragement from Tyler, a surfer-dude spirit who visits her from beyond, offers cryptic advice, and pushes her to "ride the wave" with Sharon. In this hip mountain community where high tech meets new age, their investigation involves suspects whose activities range from traditional to cutting-edge to over-the-rainbow. Tension mounts as Cleo's digging uncovers a sinister underbelly of scams, fraud and deceit. Her professional reputation and her life are on the line as she struggles to sort reality from illusion, good from evil, and truth from deception. Too Near the Edge is a character-driven mystery with a paranormal twist, a humorous tone, and a whimsical heroine who grapples with tough questions about love, reality, ethics and trust.

I received this book through the Librarything Member's GIveaway program.
This is a book that could have used a good round of extra editing, both grammatically and story-line wise. The first issue is that it begins really slowly, for the first few pages it drags in building up the plot. The author made the rough choice of writing in the present tense, which is never the best option unless the author is a master. It's just very limiting.
The characters themselves are not as original as they'd need to be to make the book work, their actions are predictable except when they are so random the reader is left staggering and turning pages (or in my case epages) to see if there was anything I missed.
The middle section is better crafted, the pacing is steadier and much more amusing than the beginning, but as we get closer to the end, the plot stasrts to unravel again.
Some of the characters seemed superfluous, like Tyler, the main character's spirit guide, who offers nothing substantial to the story at all. Actually, the fact that the main character is a "psychic" makes no real difference.
It wasn't a horrible book, but it also wasn't anything to write home about.

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