Monday, March 13, 2006
Karen Ball's Kaleidoscope Eyes~Reviewed
Family Honor Series
By Karen Ball
Release date: April 3rd, 2006
Published by Multnomah
Wilderness and Weather Are Easily Overcome. But Betrayal? Annie Justice sees things differently. Her unconventional condition, synesthesia, helped make her one of the most sought-after stained-glass artists in the country. And teamed with her German shepherd, she's just as successful in her work with the K-9 Search and Rescue Team, finding people seemingly hidden from others' eyes. But no one knows her expertise for hiding the childhood insecurities that plague her - until Jed Curry comes along. Then the search for a missing child goes awry, and Jed must reveal his true identity. He's prepared for Annie's anger, but not the hurt. And neither of them is prepared for the real trial ahead - something far more sinister and dangerous than their search. Can Jed and Annie overcome their unknown enemy - and the insecurities and secrets keeping them apart - before it's too late?
Annie Justice, artist and SAR participant with her canine partner, Kodi, has a colorful view on life. Literally. Yet Annie's synesthesia doesn't overshadow the story, merely colors it, if you'll excuse the pun.
The hero, Jed Curry, struggles with his own demons. Complicating matters is his reality series, Everyday Heroes. He wants to feature Annie and Kodi. When she denies his request, he lies his way into her life. Then against his own will, he's drawn to her and must decide which is more important—his career or Annie. Karen Ball's plots are without predictability.
With the expertise of a symphony conductor, Ball orchestrates the tension and suspense in a story. She uses pacing like the conductor uses his baton, creating an arpeggio of action then an adagio of rest for a moment before the next onslaught. As the stakes rose, I found myself flying through the pages to reach the answer. I thought I had Annie's enemy figured out. All clues pointed that direction—then Ball surprised me. And when it was done, I felt completely satisfied.
I've said it before—I'm not a fan of suspense, even romantic suspense. But I'll read anything Karen Ball writes, even if it's a grocery list. I know I'll find humor and insight—even in the vegetable aisle.
Reviewed by Ane Mulligan