Saturday, December 1, 2012
"Kaleidoscope", by Gail Bowen
Book 13, in the Joanne Kilbourn mystery series
From time to time I like to pick up one of the books in this series. I admit I have not been reading them in order, however I feel each one can be equally enjoyed on its own. With great skill of the pen, Ms. Bowen brings us up to date and gives another thread of Joanne’ life, her family and friends.
In this latest installment, the political science professor Joanne Kilbourn is looking forward to retirement and spending the summer with her husband Zack and young daughter at their cottage on Lawyer’s Bay. While at the cottage and just starting to sample retirement life she receives a call from a city detective to warn them they may be a target, someone has detonated a bomb in their garage destroying part of their city home.
They fear there may be a coincidence, the night before they had dinner with a very controversial individual Leland Hunter, a land developer and one of Jack’s biggest clients. Hunter’s model project to rejuvenate a slum area in the downtown core is creating many enemies. Blowing up the home of one of the prominent players in the project is just a taste of the tension that is building and a sample of how far the opponents will go.
The story keeps a leisurely tempo all through the drama and focusses mainly on community activism and family ties. I found the plot rather predictable and frustrating at times, we were sidetracked to often by Jo and Zack’s drinking and sex activities to a point where it became a boring sub-plot. I found the characters to be a bit bland and Joanne’s new role to be ho-hum in comparison to the role she played in the other mysteries and made for TV movies. Hopefully she will soon tire of her new life and get back to her old self…..the vibrant sleuth she has played in the past.