Still Waters, by Deanna Lee

>> Friday, August 05, 2005

A mystery, with a strong romance, set in 2162? Sounds intriguing, and when I say Alyssa's comments about Still Waters (excerpt), by Deanna Lee, even though she didn't really love it, it sounded interesting enough.

Inspector Kyra Moray has worked hard to overcome her pretty face and her grandmother's money. It hasn't been easy, and it hasn't left her a lot of time for a life, but she's at the top of her game. With a serial killer loose in her city, and a new partner to break in, the last thing she needs is distractions. Especially sexually compelling and undeniably gorgeous distractions like Alex Waters. Still, she's finding it impossible to say 'no' to nights in his arms.

Alex Waters is a man who knows what he wants. What he wants is Kyra Moray. The Inspector is more than just a pretty face. She's the tough, smart woman he's been looking for, and he means to have more than just the sex she's willing to offer. And he won't take 'no' for an answer.

Still waters run deep, but passion runs deeper…
I wasn't wowed, but it was a pretty enjoyable read. A B-.

As Alyssa says, given the subject matter, comparisons to Eve Dallas and the In Death series are inevitable. Like she did, I found both Kyra and the rest of it pretty different, though, if it makes sense, not so radically different that I got the feeling Lee was getting inspiration from the In Deaths and just writing Kyra as the un-Eve, Alex as the un-Roarke and so on. That would have been the second worst in the list, right after getting an In Death clone.

Kyra's an interesting character, a strong, tough cop, who, nevertheless, has a well-developed feminine side and very few hang-ups about sex.

I liked Alex very much, too, but I thought we got too little of him. Same thing with the romance. Kyra and Alex were lovely together, but it seemed to me their scenes were few and far between, and there just wasn't much relationship-building moments other than the (very hot) sex scenes.

That was my main problem with this book, actually. I didn't think the author achieved a good balance between the suspense and romance parts of it. The romance just disappeared for long, long stretches, and though I did find the mystery interesting, I found the romance more so. On the other hand, it does make sense that all Kyra's energies were directed towards her case. As she says to Alex near the end, this hasn't been a typical week.

The story moves along just fine at the beginning and end of the book, but there was a bit of a sagging middle going on. Also I thought the prose was a bit unpolished and the transitions from scene to scene seemed a bit abrupt to me sometimes. Not enough to really bother me, but I thought there was some room for improvement there.

The setting was pretty fascinating. There was just enough world-building to give as a sense of place, but I was left wanting more about certain little tidbits (radio signal from outer space, anyone?).

This seems to be start of a series, and I'm looking forward to the next installment.

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