REVIEW: Dead Shot by Annie Solomon

Dear Ms. Solomon:

To say that I was impressed by this book is an understatement. You always know, as a reader, that a book is good when at the close the book, you immediately get the yen to go to the bookstore and find more on the author's work. Which is what happened to me and I blogged about that on Sunday. In fact, while I am generally opposed to epilogues, I thought this one could have used one. Or more rightly, I wished I could have read more about the couple. I guess there is something to be said for always wanting to leave your fans wanting more.

While this story is a romance and it is a suspense, it is about something more. It's about facing your demons, even if that demon is you. It's about moving on when your entire life is being controlled by the past. It's about two people, imperfect and incomplete going through life but not really living it, finding understanding in each other.

Gillian Gray is a famous photographer whose work portrays grisly death scenes. She is known as the Death Diva and is hated and reviled as much as she is feted and revered. Gillian's work was inspired by a childhood trauma which involved finding her beautiful mother's dead body, mutilated by a killer. Part of Gillian believes that her work will flush out the never found killer. She wants to bait the murdered into coming after her, for only then will she ever have peace. Gillian returns to Nashville, her hometown, for a showing of her work at a new museum sponsored by her grandparents. While there, someone begins to re-enact Gillian's “Dead Shots.” This increases Gillian's guilt and ire exponentially and she begins to do more and more to egg the killer into finding her.

Ray Pearce is a former detective who offers security services to high end clients. He is paid well, but his soul misses the work he did on the force. Like Gillian, Ray can't quite let go of the past. He has no family and his ex-wife's family became his own. He takes care of his ex-father-in-law; misses the comradery of his ex-brother-in-law; longs for the feelings of being married.

Ray is hired to handle the museum detail for Gillian's show. When Gillian is attacked, however, Ray is hired to continue to protect her against both Ray and Gillian's desire. Gillian's desire to foment the murderer conflicts directly against Ray's desire to protect her person. This conflict leads to several heated arguments and one very heated physical confrontation.

The main problem I had with the book is that the attempts to make the reader believe certain people are the killers were, um, weak. There was one scene featuring the killer's POV which I thought was unnecessary and didn't fit the flow of the overall story. However, the last few chapters I read with my heart in my throat. B+


P.S. Will you work on the whole ebook thing?