Blind Curve, by Annie Solomon

>> Monday, May 14, 2007

TITLE: Blind Curve (excerpt)
AUTHOR: Annie Solomon

COPYRIGHT: 2005
PAGES: 366
PUBLISHER: Warner (Warner Forever)

SETTING: Contemporary
TYPE: Romantic Suspense
SERIES: Loosely related to Tell Me No Lies.

REASON FOR READING: Recommended by someone in the HistoricalRomanceChat group (where, as you see, we don't just discuss historicals).

FROM DARKNESS

Bullets are whizzing around him, but he can't shoot back. In the middle of a weapons bust, undercover cop Danny Sinofsky suddenly goes blind. Now this man who has always looked out for himself can't cross a room without the help of his rehab instructor, Martha Crowe. Furious and frustrated, he'd almost rather die than live this way—and someone is more than willing to grant him his wish.

TO DANGER

Hiding her emotions behind a calm, practical facade, Martha is sure Danny doesn't remember her, the plain girl from high school who had a crush on him. When she witnesses an attack on his life, the two are thrown into a safe house, and this man without sight starts to see deep inside the soul of a courageous, passionate woman. Their very lives will depend on their fragile connection . . . and their ability to combine Danny's razor-sharp instincts with Martha's eyes and move as one. Because an enemy is stalking them, forcing them to go on the run, and moving in closer and closer for the kill.
THE PLOT: Cop Danny Sinofsky is undercover and in the middle of a shootout, when suddenly all goes black. Turns out he's just had a stroke which has left him blind, and the prognosis isn't good. There's no way to fix it, and the odds that the condition will spontaneously reverse itself are tiny.

In denial, Danny rebuffs the efforts of the orientation and mobility instructor assigned to him, Martha Crowe. But Martha has a very personal reason to want to help Danny: they were in high school together, and she had a huge crush on him, mostly because he was the only one to ever defend her when her classmates mocked her for being so ugly.

When someone tries to kill Danny and Martha sees the face of the would-be murderer, the two of them are sequestered in a safe house together. But the danger isn't over, and they end up on the run, with someone clearly after them.

MY THOUGHTS: What was good here was very good. I really liked what Solomon did with Danny. Not so much his personality, because he himself was merely all right, not particularly scintillating. What was really gripping was the situation into which he's forced.

We've got a man who practically lives for his job as a cop and suddenly, through no fault of his own, poof, it's gone. Without his sight, there's no chance he'll ever be able to go back on the streets, so he basically refuses to accept that his condition might be permanent. No way he'll learn how to use a cane, cook a meal without using sight, etc., etc., because learning this would mean that he's given up hope for a reversal of his condition. It's a very understandable reaction, and that would have been an interesting enough plot on its own.

But it gets even more interesting. Only a couple of days after being blinded, it becomes clear that someone is after him and that he can't trust anyone but Martha. So he doesn't just have to learn how to deal with the blindness, he has to do so while also having to deal with the dangerous situation. Solomon does an excellent job of portraying his sense of helplessness and frustration and the strength of spirit it takes to work through it.

So, when it comes to Danny himself, the book was quite excellent. My only quibble in this area is that he learned to cope with his blindness at a superhuman speed. But ok, I can suspend my disbelief.

Unfortunately, nothing else in the book is as good. In fact, the rest wasn't very good at all. The romance was just meh. I never warmed to Martha, and their relationship didn't really convince, mostly because I couldn't understand what Danny saw (so to speak) in Martha. It's not that she was plain, almost ugly... that needn't have been a problem. It was her attitude: the woman was just dreary and tiresome. I didn't buy that what they felt for each other was love. It felt more like dependence on Danny's part and desperation and a high-school crush on Martha's.

And then there's the suspense plot. It was well put-together, I guess, but the drugs-and-guns-and-lowlifes kind of plots tend to bore me. Not Solomon's fault at all, just a matter of very personal taste, but it did make me enjoy the book a bit less.

Also, I did see the real solution coming from pretty much the first page. Not the details of it, but I knew it had to be related to a certain upcoming event that was mentioned very, very frequently, always in passing, kind of trying to sneak it past us. Well, it didn't sneak past me, and I knew it would have something to do with the danger they were in, so that last twist didn't catch me by surprise in the least.

MY GRADE: A B-. The thing with Danny was good enough that I'd try another book by this author.

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