Bothari’s #CBR4 Review #41: Deadman’s Switch by Barbara Saranella
This one is another ‘meh’ book. I feel like I’m due for a really frakking awesome book any minute now. Hopefully whatever’s next on the stack will be excellent, ‘cause this one was not.
I managed to find another mystery about a public relations professional. I did not realize there was a whole little sub-genre of these. This one was about Charlotte Lyon, a fix-it expert who’s called in to help companies in the throes of an emergency. She’s hired by a train company to investigate the derailment of a passenger train that caused two fatalities. Charlotte must find out what went wrong, if the conductor was at fault, whether it was an accident or sabotage, etc., all while keeping the train company’s name out of the muck while the news tries to blame it all on the driver/engineer.
Like the last book I read, the mystery was okay, but the characters didn’t really grab me. Charlotte’s got OCD, and her detail-oriented personality helps her deal with catastrophes well. She’s got the hots for an investigator from the transportation board, who might also be a suspect. Adding to the weirdness is the fact that her husband was killed in a work accident nine months before, and she’s sad a lot. I know people grieve differently and for different lengths of time, but it just seemed a little abrupt sometimes, her switch between “oh I miss my husband” and “hubba hubba I can’t wait for our second date.”
There’s also an extended subplot with her narcissistic, drug-addicted, drama queen mother. None of these insights into Charlotte’s character and personality made her any more interesting to me, alas.
A perfectly serviceable book – see Charlotte gather clues, see train company panic, see super-fast mega-happy ending. Meh.