Monday, May 31, 2010

When Dreams Bleed by Robin Cain

Synopsis From Back Cover:

A software genius with a knack for business, Frank’s been living the dream his whole life. He’s amassed money, success, and is now accumulating women, but someone out there thinks he’s gone too far.

Who is seeking revenge and why? His wife? His mistress? Or the shadow who’s been following his every move?

Just when he thinks he has anticipated his opponent’s next move a tragic car accident leaves him paralyzed, his life’s work is being stolen and his wife has disappeared. Just how far will someone go to teach him the correlation between deception and despair?

WHEN DREAMS BLEED examines temptation and the ensuing consequences in a contemporary world. It’s no secret that dreams come at a price, but what happens WHEN DREAMS BLEED?
I've been sitting on this review for a while now trying to figure out what I want to say about it.  When I first started this book, I was already in a bad mindset because I had just finished reading two books I didn't really like, one of which I absolutely hated, plus a third book that I couldn't finish.  So needless to say I wasn't in the best mood when I started this book.  I was wanting this book to get me out of my slump and unfortunately it didn't.
I was wanting to like this one and the makings of a really good mystery were there.  I found the storyline, overall, to be well crafted and meticulously thought out.  The hard work that the author put into this is obvious on every page and I appreciate the author's abundance of talent.  The complex relationships between the characters was interesting to read, and I never felt that the characters were acting in such a way that went against who they were. 
Now comes the two aspects of the book I didn't care too much for and I'm afraid that it's tainted my overall impressions of the book.  I'm not one that normally minds a large body count, which this book has, but when the two most important ones are done off page, I feel that the deaths don't mean as much.  That there wasn't much thought put into the deaths themselves, which is a disappointment when you can read all the thought put into the rest of the story line.  I'm also not a big fan of "throwaway deaths" and the one that takes place in this book cements that for me.  One of the minor characters that I never really liked all that much anyway, dies in such a manner that you're left trying to figure out what the point of it was.  There was no reason to kill her, and to kill her in such a way, after she finally makes a serious decision about her life, is just puzzling.  Even the death of the murderer is done in such a way that I'm more confused than anything else.
The death of the killer is a nice way to bring up the second aspect of the book that I didn't quite get.  While the killer is dying at the end of the book, they are talking to a picture of what I assume is long dead family member.  You are supposed to understand the motivation of the killer through this conversation, but I was at more of a loss then I was before it.  The motive is fuzzy and unclear to me and I'm not sure why the killer did what they did.
After all that being said, I can't say I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone else.  While I may not have enjoyed it as much as I would have liked, I would feel confident that others would. The author is wonderfully talented and I will be on the lookout for her other novels.
This will qualify for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge 2010 hosted by Carolyn of Book Chick City.


Literary Feline said...

I am sorry this one didn't work for you, Ryan. Hopefully you are now reading something that will pull you out of that slump.

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Good honest review Ryan. I know how you feel about reading slumps. While I love getting books for review, sometimes I feel like it's taking the fun out of my next reading choice. I've tried to cut back some on review titles so I can get to reading my own books. I have so many great ones!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

HI Ryan - sorry to hear of the reading slump. That stinks. Heres hoping the next one is amazing! :D

Amanda said...

You've won a prize on the GLBT blog!

Anonymous said...

I love that killer title though. I hope you break your bad reading streak and soon.

Robin Cain said...

Hi Ryan and blog readers -

Thanks for reading and reviewing my book, Ryan. I appreciate the time and effort.

WHEN DREAMS BLEED does have a few deaths in it, but I felt each one had a purpose to the story. As a first time author, I'm learning that everyone interpretes a story differently and I will always find it fascinating to hear what readers think. You are no exception. Thank you for your honesty and input. I'm thrilled to hear your issues were with the story and not the writing... :-)

Warm Regards and thanks,
Robin Cain

Staci said...

Great review on a book that sounds like you hard a rough time reading it!! And again, I'm in awe of the author's comments. Which reflect highly to you and in the thoughtful way you reviewed this one!

Anonymous said...

I hope you're reading one you truly enjoy now. I do like how you talked about both the positives and negatives in your review.

Stephanie said...

You did a great job of writing a fair, thoughtful review of a novel that didn't really work for you. It's a shame it was disappointing ... such an awesome title! :)

IceJewel said...

The synopsis captured my attention, but sad that it was not very good..
Thanks for your honest review !

Robin Cain said...

Hey, hey, hey! One person not enjoying a book does not make it a "not very good" book! Try it! YOU just might like it!

IceJewel said...

Yeah.You are right.I will definitely try it once :) And I liked the synopsis anyway.