Sunday, December 26, 2010

TANDEM by Tracey Bateman

I just finished reading Tandem by Tracy Bateman. It usually takes me about 100 pages before I’m completely involved in Bateman’s books. Tandem was no different. Still, that doesn’t keep me from reading, reviewing and purchasing them. Bateman is an excellent writer.

I had a problem with the diary entries (or whatever they were) at the beginning of each chapter. I had no idea whose PoV they were in. They confused me until I got to know the characters, and then, I became fascinated by them. By the time I reached the end of the book, I wanted to start over again--at least with the diary entries.

Another thing that put me off was Lauryn, the main character. She had an annoying personality and I never really warmed to her. Even though her father had Alzheimer’s, I never sympathized with her, though Bateman did an excellent job portraying one who has Alzheimer’s.

I've noticed that Bateman has a real talent for making her characters come across incredibly real. She gives them annoying, sometimes hateful traits. Readers will either like them or dislike them, but seldom will a reader toss the book aside because Bateman is definitely a storyteller. Somestimes I wonder why I'm hooked; not because of characters but rather her storytelling skills.

I don’t race out to buy every vampire book that hits the stands, but Bateman’s vampires appealed to me more than her humans did. They had great backstory (history) and were well-rounded characters. Amede was my favorite—along with Amede’s assistant, Juliette. Sheriff Jill Jenkins was a winner too. But hero Billy? I don’t think so. Every time I read the name Billy, I pictured a guy who never quite grew up, a high school kid.

A few years ago I connected with an old school friend. When I called him Ronnie, he told me he’d lived most of his adult life becoming Ron. That’s what I thought of every time I read the name Billy. Writers know that a character’s name is important so I have to wonder why Bateman, an experienced writer/storyteller, chose the name Billy. I kept waiting … hoping … Billy would correct Lauryn, tell her to call him Bill.

But forget my trivial views regarding Tandem. Read it for yourself because regardless of what I liked or didn’t like, Tandem is a thought-provoking story by an exceptional author. There are some interesting themes and surprises that make reading this book worth your time.

Here’s the back cover blurb of TANDEM:
Six months ago, brutal murders shook the small Ozark town called Abbey Hills—murders that stopped after a house fire reportedly claimed the killer’s life. Lauryn McBride's family auction house has taken responsibility for the estate sale of one of the victims—the enigmatic Markus Chisom. Submerging herself in Chisom’s beautiful but strange world, Lauryn welcomes the reprieve from watching Alzheimer’s steal her father from her, piece by piece. She soon realizes that centuries-old secrets tie Abbey Hills to the Chisom estate and a mysterious evil will do anything to make sure those secrets stay hidden. Even the man who grew up loving her may not be able to protect Lauryn from the danger.

When Amede Dastillon receives an unexpected package from Abbey Hills, she hopes it might be the key in tracking down her beloved sister, long estranged from her family. Visiting Abbey Hills seems the logical next step in her search, but Amede is unusually affected by the town, and when mutilated carcasses begin turning up again in the small community, the local law enforcement isn’t sure if they are confronting a familiar evil or a new terror.

Two women brought together by questions that seem to have no answers. Can they overcome the loss and darkness threatening to devour them—or will their own demons condemn them to an emotional wasteland?

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.


Charles Gramlich said...

I won't give many books 100 pages. Some nonfiction and that's about it. Hope your Christmas was excellent.

David Cranmer said...

Charles and I have similar reading habits. If a book doesn't grab me three chapters in I bail.