Wednesday, May 4, 2016

ARC Review: Silent Sentry by Theresa Rizzo

Pub. Date:  April 3, 2016
Publisher:  Rizzo Publishing
Pages:  410
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

Well, it looks like I'm in the minority on this one. It didn't quite work for me. I could be hitting a reading slump, but I wasn't able to connect to the characters or get sufficiently interested in the story.

Gianna Donatelli is from a very traditional Italian family in Detroit. Traditional in the sense that males are the head of the family, and the protectors... and females are relegated to happy home makers or other feminine type pursuits. Gianna’s father approved of her initial career as a nurse... but when she decides to veer into computer/software programming, that was seen as unfeminine. I liked that the heroine was on the smart side, capable when it came to her business, and talented in a male-dominated career field. I did not understand her resentment of the hero's dead wife... it was petty and immature and irrational. I'm sorry to say that Gianna annoyed me more often than not.

Joe Scarafili is the son of another traditional Italian family. He is also a talented surgeon with a tragic past, having lost his wife to a senseless violent act. I liked Joe's big Italian family, some of whom are clearly in thr Mob. I really didn't feel like I knew enough about Joe to connect to his character though.

The biggest problem I had with this story was that most of the relationship seemed to be happening off page. This prevented me from forming connections with the main characters and becoming invested in the relationship between the H/h. Scenes were cut abruptly and then it's a week later and they are alluding to things that happened over the week, but it was all off page. So I didn't feel there was enough relationship building material for us to grab onto. And for as much time spent off page, the story seemed to drag for me.

I felt like there was something brewing with Faye that was never flushed out. I didn't understand her hostility toward Joe, and sometimes Gianna. And the thing with Peter seemed crammed in for the convenience of the plot. There was also a lot of taking out of monogrammed white handkerchiefs... I can't say how many but it was enough for me to note " what's with all the handkerchiefs?" I'm not sure if that is a mobster stereotype or what.

There was another small plothole that I would have liked to be resolved... and that was the favor that Joe did for Uncle Sal. While he has some inner monologue alluding to this favor, we never find out what it was.

I found the author's descriptions of Detroit and Grosse Point to be quite vivid. Rizzo did a great job at detailing a setting so that you could form a picture in your head. That was probably my favorite aspect of this book.

I received an free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 2.5 stars / 2 flames.