Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review: Infamous by Suzanne Brockmann

In her first paperback original in more than six years, New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann delivers an unforgettable novel of contemporary romance and thrilling suspense.

When history professor Alison Carter became a consultant to the film version of the Wild West legend she’d dedicated her career to researching, she couldn’t possibly have known that she would not only get a front-row seat to a full-blown Hollywood circus but would innocently witness something that would put her life in peril. Nor did she expect that a tall stranger in a cowboy hat would turn the movie—and her world—completely upside down.

A. J. Gallagher didn’t crash the set in dusty Arizona to rub elbows with Hollywood’s elite. Unable to ignore ghosts from the past that refuse to stay buried, A. J. came to put an end to the false legend that has tarnished the reputation of his family. But when he confronts Alison, sparks fly. And when Alison is targeted by ruthless criminals, suddenly she and A .J. must face the intense attraction that threatens to consume them—and survive the danger that threatens their very lives.

I am a fan of Suzanne Brockmann's and have read almost everything she's had printed. She's a very popular romance writer that I look forward to reading each year and I was disappointed when I kept seeing negative reviews of Infamous. After reading it, I could see why people who are used to her Troubleshooters series didn't take to Infamous because it does have a supernatural element to it and isn't directly related to the military. It does, however, still have the entertaining Suzanne Brockmann style of writing and I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy this ghost story romance.

Dr. Alison Carter is in Jubilation, Arizona, a tiny little town in the desert to be a consultant for a movie about a sheriff from the Old West, Silas Quinn. Dr. Carter is an "expert" in the subject of Quinn, having published one book to start about him and how he singlehandedly took down a group of robbers and rescued his wife from a murdering kidnapper called "Kid" Gallagher in the late 1800's. Alison has been obsessed with Quinn since she was a young girl and so when handsome A. J. Gallagher shows up on the movie set, she mistakes him for the actor who is actually playing Kid in the movie. Turns out that A. J. has hunted her down to set the record straight about Kid, whose real name was Jamie Gallagher. A. J.'s story is that he is the great-grandson of Jamie and that the legend of Silas Quinn and Kid Gallagher is backwards; Gallagher is actually the good guy in the story and Dr. Carter's book is all wrong. When she questions him on the source of his information, A. J. tells her that Jamie told him all this when he was a kid but the truth is that Jamie has started haunting A. J., a veteran of the first Gulf War whose mental history is questionable.

Honestly, I was confused by the introduction. It took several pages to realize that the real narrator of this book is Jamie, a ghost. The reader also gets the perspectives of Alison and A. J. in third person but the only "I" in this book is Jamie. I was obviously expecting either Alison or A. J. so it caught me a little off guard. Otherwise, I had no problems here. I liked both A. J. and Alison and the unfolding of their relationship, which is fraught with perils like alcoholism and the possibility of insanity on A. J.'s part. The legend of Silas Quinn and Jamie's story were a good platform for the plot which had plenty of suspense to keep me reading. There is also a touch of Brockmann's SEAL-type comic relief present in the form of A. J.'s SEAL friend, Craig Lutz, that made me happy as I wait for Breaking the Rules, her next and for a while, last Troubleshooters book that won't be out until early 2011. There is even a Beavis and Butthead reference. That was definitely a surprise.

I had originally thought that I would avoid this book because at first glance it reminded me of Brockmann's Heartthrob, a self-contained book that she wrote a while back. It also revolves around the production of a movie with an actor who has alcohol and substance abuse problems. Having recently read Heartthrob I can tell you that those are really the only two things these books have in common. Infamous was an enjoyable read that I recommend to any Suzanne Brockmann fan.


Jen D. said...

What a crazy coincidence...I bought this book a couple of weeks back after I saw it highlighted in an Amazon e-mail (and to be honest and a little shallow I also like the guy on the cover...lol). Thanks for reviewing it. After I'm done with The Hunger Games and Happy Hour at Casa Dracula I'll give this one a shot.

Jen said...

My, yes, the cover boy certainly is something :) Nothing shallow about that! I got lucky and snagged it on BookMooch.

Hey - I want to know what you think of Happy Hour at Casa Dracula. I have had that one for a while but haven't read it yet. Marta Acosta's supposed to be pretty funny, or so I hear.

Jen D. said...

LOL...I knew you'd understand. ;) Never heard of BookMooch. Is it like PaperBack Swap?

I'll be reading it this weekend so I'll let you know when I throw up the review....hey....maybe this can be book 2 in our little challenge...hmmmm.

Jen said...

I started trading books on BookMooch before PBS and while I like a lot of the things about PBS, I'm a BookMooch girl at heart. It's a lot more laid back and wishlisted books are first come, first serve.

Casa Dracula or Infamous?

Jen D. said...

Hmm...I'll head over to BookMooch and check it out.

I was thinking Casa Dracula but, Infamous would work too...hmmm...I'll shoot you an e-mail so we can discuss. =)