Love Kills is the first book Iíve read by Dianne Emley, but isnít the first in this series following
homicide police detective Nan Vining. Fortunately the author gives enough information that you can step into this story and feel you know whatís going on.
Nan Vining and her partner (and lover), Jim Kissick, find themselves involved in a case
that hits close to home. One of Nanís motherís friends is found dead--presumably a natural death, but there seem to be some strange coincidences with regard to others
who this friend knew and with a self-help guruís Malibu Canyon compound. When more people turn up dead, it seems that there is a
lot more going on at the Berryhill Compound than getting in touch with your shadow side.
Although I liked parts of Love Kills,
my enjoyment was marred by some weak points. The main complaint: that there are few cliffhangers or plot changes at the end of chapters. I found it extremely easy to put this book down; every chapter seemed to finish nicely, and
that meant I read about one chapter a night over a couple of weeks. I was never totally gripped.
Another (perhaps peculiar to me) annoyance is the way our heroine is addressed. Her name is Nan Vining, but she
is always called "Vining" in the book. Perhaps thatís a difference in the US to the UK, but somehow I couldnít identify with someone who was almost always referenced by her surname.
It made her somehow distant.
Not that we ever get particularly close to her, as the book deals in facts
rather than feelings and character. The only characters who seem at all emotional end up dead or in other major trouble, and that
means that my heart wasnít really engaged in the story.
Nan (as I want to call her!) and Kissick donít seem to do all that much detecting - the story
goes on alongside them with the body count rising until they stumble upon the dťnouement. As mentioned before, suspense
isnít particularly successful in this story. I also found the host of strange names among the characters confusing.
Love Kills isnít a bad story but hardly un-putdownable.
Itís not going to be a book I'll bother to read again.