Friday, December 28, 2012

Thicker than Blood by C. J. Darlington

C. J. Darlington hopefully has a long lived and successful career in front of her. 
Winner of the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest, she has already shown talent and attracted the attention of publisher. For her first novel  Thicker than
Blood,
Darlington drew from her expertise as an antiquarian bookseller.  Christy Williams has begun to excel at her job as a seller of old books.  Her boss even trusts her enough to train her as a buyer for pricey auctions and estate sales.  When Christy is unfairly accused of a dishonest scam and stealing a rare first edition, she loses her job.

With nowhere else to go, Christy returns to her hometown, a place she fled when still a teenager, abandoning a much younger sister.  Now grown, sister May has her own problems. Likely to loose her ranch to the bank, she also nurses an emotional void caused by her sister's unexplained disappearance years ago.  Although May willingly opens her ranch to the prodigal sister, it appears that reconciliation will go no further than the two civilly sharing the same residence for a few days.

I really wanted to like this book more than I actually did.  The world of book collectors drew me in, and I learned more about first editions, but the enjoyment ended there.  Most of the story unfolded like a movie made for the LIFETIME network. Action revolves around  Christy's guilt over hidden past and her sweet boyfriend who is turns out to be manipulative and abusive.  Another reviewer mentioned that the book seemed to end too quickly and left some relationships unsettled.  I would agree with that observation, but also feel that if those "loose ends" had been tied up (romantically), it would have been too convenient. 

This was a quick read for me and I finished it feeling that it was as entertaining as watching a
predictable "okay" movie.  If I had invested more time than a couple hours of reading, I would have been disappointed, but since I hadn't, all was okay.  I do wish Darlington success with future projects and hope she grows as a writer.

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