Short but OK
The last couple of Iris Johansen books I have read
disappointed me. Her publishers are reissuing some of her older books, which in many cases have not stood the test of time well. Notorious is
more than 20 years old and might have fallen to a similar fate; fortunately, it
doesnít show its age too badly.
This is a short book. Although the page count of the story is 268 pages, with
its fairly large font and wide line spacing, it feels more like 150 pages. Donít expect this to take more than a couple of sittings to read.
As the story commences, beautiful actress Mallory Thane is the defendant in a murder trial; the victim was her husband, Ben. Malloryís defense lawyer successfully secures an acquittal,
leaving Mallory free to go but unsure whether she will ever get work as an actress again.
Benís brother, Sabin, whom she hadnít met during her short marriage, appears at the trial, and she finds herself fascinated by him. When the trial finishes, she has a short conversation with him then finds herself with a new acting job in Sedikhan.
She heads out there only to discover that sheís actually been almost kidnapped by Sabin. He think she owes her six months as his mistress; she hasnít the faintest what heís talking about.
The bulk of the book consists of the interactions between Sabin and Mallory and their power struggle (if it can be called that) as they learn about each other. Mallory,
while appealing in some ways, is vapid in others. Sabinís '90s male persona is less attractive in 2012 as he bullies Mallory.
Notorious is rather devoid of believable characterization, character growth, location description, and more--oh, and the sub-plot including a baddie
isnít exactly hard to solve. This is a reasonable quick read but nothing special.