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A Killer Retreat
By Tracy Weber
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
Oh, what to say about a book from a basement press you found truly terrible, when you're an organization dedicated to supporting basement presses and cutting them as much slack as possible? That's the dilemma I find myself in today, reviewing Tracy Weber's A Killer Retreat from Midnight Ink, and as a result I'm finding it difficult to even get my thoughts in order; for while it definitely gets an A for ambition and effort, it unfortunately gets as close to an F for execution as we even give around here. One of those contemporary mystery novels where the gimmick is that the person solving crimes is not a formal detective, like what litters so many basic cable networks these days, it's this very subject that provides the first and one of the biggest obstacles to the book itself; for the crime-solver in question, professional yoga instructor Kate Davidson, is so smugly self-righteous and intolerably pretentious that it made me immediately start rooting for her violent demise right on page one, a bad attitude for a reader to have when this is to be the main narrator and the one you're supposed to be rooting for. Now add the childish, awkward telegraphing of the coming goodies and baddies as each new character gets introduced, so clumsily done that one can fairly easily guess the book's entire plot just in the first chapter; then add the immature dialogue, the special-needs dog I wanted to kick every time it appeared, and just the overall "I Watch Too Much Nancy Grace" tone of the book in general, and you're left with a novel I cannot in good conscience recommend to others, no matter how much I hate to admit it. A cautionary tale from the world of basement presses -- that just because it's easier than ever to turn a 300-page Microsoft Word document into a finished paperback book doesn't mean that every 300-page Microsoft Word document should.
Out of 10: 4.4