The Rachel Scott Adventures
by Traci Hohenstein
Thomas and Mercer, ISBN 978-1612182933
January 31, 2012, 436 pages
Two books in one volume! A great thing..assuming they are worth reading. Well, are The Rachel Scott Adventures worth of your time? Well first, let's check out what the books are about.
The first book is called Asylum Harbor, in which we will meet the woman at the center of these books and learn her story. Rachel Scott was a very successful, wealthy business woman until her life underwent a life changing experience when her young daughter went missing. Years later, she is still looking for some clue as to what happen to Mallory but doing so led her to establish a non-profit organization, Florida Omni Search, that brings cutting edge technology and an army of volunteers to help law enforcement find other missing people.
In this book we follow the case of missing Amber Knowles, a beautiful young high school senior who disappeared while on a cruise to celebrate her graduation with some friends. The cruise line says she likely accidentally fell overboard but some evidence points to something else, something more sinister, happening. When it turns out she is the daughter of the Florida governor, a huge spotlight is going to be brought to shine on what happened, including the involvement of Omni Search. As is so often true, the lovely surface of a luxury cruise ship and idyllic tropical islands may be hiding a much more ugly underside.
In the second book, Burn Out, a terrible distressed mother, calls upon Rachel to help find her daughter, a firefighter who went missing during a raging warehouse fire. Some people believe Lieutenant Samantha Collins may have run off, to escape the drug charges her husband is in jail for. But her mother knows she would never have willing left her children behind and that foul play must be involved. Rachel and her crew get involved and not only start to uncover some surprising facts about Samantha's disappearance but some clues that may at last begin to point to what happened to Rachel's own missing daughter Mallory.
Well, on these two, there is some good news and some bad news.
Let's start with the less than good. While these are not badly written, the writing is not the best either. The dialogue is often stilted and unnatural sounding. If anything, the writing is a little too simple, and repeats things endlessly. Authors, trust your readers. Say it once..and move on. No need to beat us over the head. And then there are the holes in the plots, questions the readers looking for answers will never get and more than one development that really stretches the story's credibility. OK, a little spoiler here...kidnapped sex slaves on a tropical island? Really?
But on the plus side, there are some positives here too. Rachel is a good character, effective, interesting, clever and sympathetic. The cast of secondary characters is a little undeveloped but holds some potential and the variety of interesting storylines that could be tied into Omni Search seems endless. Of the two books, I think the second, Burn Out, is the better. It is more realistic, less over the top and hopefully shows the direction future stories in the series should take.
The pair are a quick, easy read that moves fast. Maybe it would be the perfect thing for a long plane trip, the beach or the backyard hammock with a cool umbrella drink. But would I recommend you run out and grab it up? Not so much.
My thanks to Amazon Vine for providing a copy for review.