07 April 2010

REVIEW: DEAD BY MIDNIGHT BY BEVERLY BARTON


BACK COVER BLURB:

IN MURDER...


The last sounds Dean Wilson hears are a clock striking twelve and a killer's taunting words. And his death is just the first. One by one, victims are stalked and shot at close range. Only the killer knows their sins, and who will be the next to die at midnight..

AND IN LIFE...

In the ten years since her Hollywood career imploded, Lorie Hammonds has built a good life in her Alabama hometown. When the first death threat arrives, she assumes it's a joke. Then she gets a second note. Sheriff Mike Birkett, her high-school sweetheart, has avoided Lorie since she returned to Dunmore, but when investigators uncover her connection to a string of recent murders, he's drawn into a case that's terrifyingly personal.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

With every murder, the killer edges closer. Soon Lorie's will be the last name left on his list. Her only hope is to unearth a deadly secret -- before the clock runs out for good...



LYNETTE'S TWO CENTS:

DEAD BY MIDNIGHT is a beautifully written story with a compelling mystery. It's too bad the hero of DEAD BY MIDNIGHT is a complete douche bag. If Mike wasn't a total prick, I would have loved the story more and bought into the romance between the hero and heroine. If Mike wasn't a complete prick I would've given DEAD BY MIDNIGHT an A instead of a D-.


Quick overview: Mike and Lorie were high school sweethearts. After high school, like many kids who live in a small town (and many who don't) the heroine wanted to break free, go to Hollywood, and become an actress. Naive perhaps but then so is pretty much every teenager who has those dreams of fame and fortune. She goes off to Hollywood and like nearly every other high school romance she and Mike drift apart.

Hollywood is not all it's cracked up to be, she ends up doing a Playboy spread and taking a bit part in a porno. Dissatisfied with the way her life is going Lorie returns to her small town and is treated worse than the heroine in the Scarlett Letter. Mike is now married and treats the heroine horribly.

Fast forward ten years. Mike still treats Lorie like dog dodo, but now he's widowed. Heroine starts getting death threats. So she naturally reports the letters to the police. Unfortunately for her the police chief is dick head Mike and he thinks she's lying to get close to him. Though nothing she's done in the last ten years has shown that she was trying to get back with him. Luckily, she has friends who work for a private security agency and gets them to look into the case.

Mike the dickhead, is still a dick head when people from the porno she had a bit part in start dying. Because apparently the heroine is a whore (in his mind) even though nothing she's done in all the years she's been back home suggests anything of the kind.

Sorry, I could go on and on and on about all the dickhead things Mike did in DEAD BY MIDNIGHT. I probably would've put the book down but it was so well written and the mystery was good. Although . . . despite the author's attempts to disguise it, I knew who the killer was from the moment they appeared on the page. But, I usually can, it's a talent I have. LOL.

I never warmed up to Mike, even when he sort of tried to make amends. It was too little to late for me and I felt annoyed with the heroine for feeling like she deserved to be treated like total crap. Despite the awesome writing, I can't recommend this book.

WHERE PURCHASED:
Borrowed from the library.

RATING:
D-


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4 people posted their 2 cents:

Marq said...

LOL! I love your review! Complete honesty! You didn't hold anything back.

Kwana said...

So Mike? A total catch? LOL!

Wendy said...

OMG - I hate that! An otherwise good read ruined by a douchebag hero (or braindead heroine - either way, it totally blows).

Lynette said...

@Marq
My fatal flaw. Often to my detriment. LOL. I'm too honest at times.

@kwana
Another kicker was when he shouted at her bc his kids liked her and hated the girl he was dating!

@wendy
I kept wanting to stop, but I couldn't because the writing was really great. Yet, I'm still hesitant to try something else by her.

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