The Arms of the Law, by Jenna Ryan

>> Wednesday, November 10, 2004

One of the reviewers at AAR is a fan of series romance and in the past months she has written DIK reviews for some very different ones. I've tried a few and have been very happy with them. However, it was a different story with the latest I tried: The Arms of the Law, by Jenna Ryan, an Intrigue title.

A snowstorm at a psychiatric hospital and the discovery of a frozen corpse turn life upside down for the new doctor and the handsome homicide detective investigating. But when one murder becomes more, she finds comfort in THE ARMS OF THE LAW
The Arms of the Law sounded fascinating, a mystery set in a psychiatric hospital where people started turning up murdered. I love gothics, and this one was sure to have atmosphere in spades. It did, but it was all it had going for it, I'm afraid. It's too bad, but I have to give this one a D+.

The main characters were cardboard. Vachon, especially, never came alive and his "Oh, I can't trust Niki because she's a psychologist, and a psychologist once ruined my grandmother's life" routine was just stupid. He persisted in this for ages, and it got old fast.

Nikita irritated me with way too many TSTL moments . With a multiple murderer roaming loose, one who had actually attacked her a couple of times, she never hesitated in going alone all over the darkest, spookiest corners of the hospital, and was attacked every time. If this one had been a classic gothic, she'd be the idiot who hears a noise outside and goes to check it out in her nightgown, carrying only a candle.

As for the secondary, too many were unpleasant and their actions just didn't make any sense. I especially disliked Nikita's womanizing brother Martin, who openly cheated on his wife with every woman he saw. I even started disliking Nikita when she'd make her "boys will be boys" excuses for him and got upset with his wife (who was actually her friend!), for having an affair herself.

The romance was a bust. I didn't perceive any chemistry whatsoever between the Nikita and Vachon, and their realization that they were in love came completely out of the blue.

The mystery was interesting, and the setting was really good and made the ambience suitably creepy and spooky. But the whole thing was too contrived. In order to keep everything mysterious till the bitter end, the author ended up inadvertently portraying the police, including Vachon, as inept. They were so cavalier about the murders. No one took any special precautions, they neglected obvious lines of investigation (why did it take them so long to investigate exactly what was going on with Flynn's experiments in the basement?) and never got anywhere with their inquiries.

It took me almost two weeks to read; a lot, considering I'm a fast reader and this was a short book. I kept expecting it to get better, but it never did.


Post a Comment

Blog template by

Back to TOP