Saturday, September 20, 2014

Watch Your Back - Karen Rose

Karen Rose usually makes supported characters - one male & one female - in previous book(s) into main ones, and it's the same formula in Watch Your Back. I think this book has been written with one obvious reason: to create a romance between policewoman Stevie Mazzetti and Private Investigator Clay Maynard. The plot itself is quite good, but I think it's not as complicatedly woven like the writer's latest works.

Usually one can read Karen Rose's book on its own, but I strongly suggest that you read No One Left To Tell first. Watch Your Back is from the Baltimore Series: (1)You Belong To Me (2) No One Left To Tell (3) Did You Miss Me? (4) Watch Your Back. Actually there is one little work between (3) and (4) called Broken Silence which is only available as e-book, but if it's printed it would be a thin book, and personally I think you can left this one out, unless you care about the characters in the Baltimore series.

In No One Left To Tell, there was a corrupted police named Silas Dandridge, Stevie Mazzetti's former partner. Silas was dead at the end of No One Left To Tell and in Watch Your Back, Stevie tried to right the wrongs. As Silas Dandridge's partner, she had  not known all the evil things he had been doing; and after his death and Internal Affairs declared that she was clear, she dug into his cases and investigated them again, and found innocent men in jail while the real culprits were free.

The antagonist in this book was a businessman and a philanthropist named Todd Robinette. He had murdered his previous wife (and several others) and framed his son, thinking that his son could survive in jail. However, when Stevie Mazzetti, had tried to question his son, his son had run and shot the police. So Stevie Mazzetti had to shot him back and the son had been dead. Todd Robinnette had been waiting for a chance to avenge his son's death.

News about Stevie digging into old Silas Dandrige's cases was not a secret. Early in the book she had survived a couple of murder attempts. Todd Robinette then hired hitmen to join the excitement. Stevie always managed to survive any attack, though, either because she was lucky or because Clay Maynard, who had been in love with her through previous books, was always at her side guarding her. Even the hitmen realized that Robinette was crazy that they left him, and so Robinette must try to silence Stevie himself.

Another Ms Rose's book that I suggest to read before this one is Nothing To Fear from the Chicago series, although it's not a must. It's because there's a small reference to the house owned by Clay Maynard's father in Watch Your Back, which was used to hide Stevie Mazzetti and her 7-year-old daughter. The house was the scene of abduction and murder in Nothing To Fear, and Maynard's parents bought the house without knowing anything about those.

I must say that I like Ms Rose's characterization of Cordelia, 7 year-old daughter of Stevie Mazzetti. Her father and brother had died before she was born so she was only with her mother. They took care of each other and as a result she was more mature than her age. She sounds real to me because I know someone like her. And I also hate if children are portrayed like they know nothing and the adults refuse to tell them anything.

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