Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Kiss" by Dekker & Healy

This posting for Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy is delayed due to computer transitions. I won’t have to re-read the novel to refresh my memory because the story is still clear in my mind. When I had to set the book down for some silly reason, like to sleep or go to work, the plight of the protagonist stayed with me. In my local Word Weavers group we use the sandwich method for our critiques:
  • Encourage
  • Critique
  • Praise

I’d like to use that technique as I discuss this novel with you.

The first thing that impressed me on a marketing level was the number of “hooks” the authors presented. On the cover, we read, “She steals more than your heart.” (Interesting) On the back cover: “Let me tell you all I know for sure. My name. Shauna.” (Intriguing) At the bottom of the back cover: “A New Kind of Suspense from Dekker and Healy—Where Heart Pounding meets Heart Warming.” (Inviting) I hadn’t heard of Ted Dekker or Erin Healy before I saw this novel. Any one of the “hooks” would’ve caused me to buy it, along with the synopsis on the back. Having each one build on the other created a sense of necessity within me. I NEEDED to read this book!

The only drawback I found was the lack of tags. I realize in some scenes the reader isn’t supposed to know who’s speaking…yet. They’re carefully placed mines to ratchet up the suspense. I’ve seen this technique in The Terror Alliance by Jack Hunter (1980 – an oldie, but goodie). But the scenes where I had to stop reading, go back to the beginning of the dialogue and mentally note: Wayne, Shauna, Wayne, Shauna…, broke the flow and annoyed me. Not enough to make me put the book down, though. The well-told story kept me coming back for more. As Shauna recuperates from her auto accident injuries, the reader is pulled alongside her in the schemes and plots against her. Can one woman really endure all of the trauma she suffers? Yet she finds a ray of hope in a housekeeper and a news reporter hidden away in a small town. This is one book that is not easy to put down. Even when I couldn’t get back to it right away (What do you mean “What’s for supper?” I’m trying to read.) Shauna’s dilemma haunted me. Who could she trust? All the way to the end, I found myself wanting to buckle my seatbelt…even though I always read in bed! I don’t want to give away the ending, but will say the truest “hook” of all was: Where Heart Pounding meets Heart Warming.
So…step away from your computer right now
and go buy this book!