Newest Review: ... Elena gets shot in her car but retrieves something she thinks may lead her to the proof she was supposed to see. What she doesn't reali... more
A High Price For Justice
No One Left to Tell - Karen Rose
Member Name: cazkins
No One Left to Tell - Karen Rose
Advantages: Good depth of characters, engaging, interesting premise, vivid & easy to imagine scenes
Disadvantages: A slighty sickly-sweet love side story
No One Left To Tells falls in to the crime thriller genre, a genre within which Rose is quite popular and ahead of the game. On the cover we're told that this is a 'Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller', along with the tagline 'If one more woman should accidentally fall, there'll be no more women and...' (No One Left To Tell) to draw us in. We're introduced to the case of Ramon Munoz, a man who has spent the last 5 years in jail for a murder that his family are convinced he didn't commit. They turn to a personal investigator, Paige Holden, to try to help them overturn the ruling. With so much evidence against Ramon's innocence, Paige tells his wife and family that more proof would be needed to pursue the cause. The wife, Elena, seems to have something that may just blow the case wide open, but it's proof that someone doesn't want coming out because she gets killed on her way to delivering it to Paige.
The PI is right there when Elena gets shot in her car but retrieves something she thinks may lead her to the proof she was supposed to see. What she doesn't realise is that the knowledge could get her in trouble too. Enter Grayson Smith, the prosecutor who got Munoz put behind 5 years ago. PI Paige scopes out Smith, knowing she needs help from someone she can trust, and he's supposed to be an honest man and a strong prosecutor. Smith, on the other hand, is apparently instantly love-struck after watching a video captured of the attack, showing Paige running to Elena's aid. Paige quickly becomes popular as the footage spreads, with her becoming the brave woman that risked a bullet herself to help someone else. It was a near miss but it's nowhere near over. It's only just started for Paige and Smith who together try to figure out what proof Elena had found that got her killed and whether Munoz was really innocent. If so, Smith took the 'facts' at the time and prosecuted the wrong man, meaning the real killer is still out there.
As the story unfolds, a large web of characters is weaved and Baltimore seems to become a minefield of corruption, scandal and murder. The rest of the story goes through what really happened and as bits and pieces of the puzzle come together, suspicion is pointed in every direction. I liked that I couldn't really guess what was going to happen so I was keen to keep reading and find out more. The premise was original in that the characters really made it and it wasn't too cliché or predictable when it came to the actual detective aspects. But more than that, I just really enjoyed reading it; you get sucked in to the writing style as it brings the characters and scenes to life, making it all easy to imagine and the warmth of the writing keeps you hooked.
We learn more about a lot of the important characters, especially the two leads, Paige and Smith. For instance, the backstory given about Paige with her getting shot, her job, her home life etc, all gives her a lot more depth. We're then better able to understand her thoughts and actions, to relate and to appreciate the dynamics of relationships far better because we 'know' her quite well by the end of it. I also liked how characters from previous Rose novels came through this book as it gave me something familiar I could relate to. It is, however, still a read-alone book so no prior knowledge of her novels is required to understand what's going on, it's just an added bonus for fans.
The downsides? As with other Rose novels I've read, she tends to take a detour through a minefield of romantic mush. The protagonists, Paige and Smith, come together and the direction of the relationship is instantly predictable. It seemed far too cliché and sickly sweet for my liking the way it was pretty much 'love at first sight'. Given that I'm not one for chick flicks or romance novels, this didn't appeal to me. However, it was still good to have that sidestory and development of each character and the ties that link them together. A little less of the predictability and mushy-ness in this area would have been preferred, but ultimately it didn't detract too much from my enjoyment of the novel.
Further praise for Karen Rose can be found on the back, including 'Fast and furious' - The Sun' and 'Rose juggles a large cast, a huge body county and a complex plot with terrifying ease' - Publishers Weekly. I would agree with these. There was a large cast that was brought together in a way that made sense, I didn't find myself getting lost or confused. And the pace was kept up throughout, making it engaging and interesting so I don't recall ever really getting bored or thinking it was dragging.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this if you enjoy Rose novels or crime thrillers that will give you a warm hug whilst reading them. It draws you in and makes you want to keep reading, but unfortunately a star gets knocked off for the sickly sweet predictability of the 'love at first sight' sidestory.
Selling on Amazon for £3.86 (paperback) 656 pages
Summary: An engaging read for crime thriller fans