Tuesday, June 14, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Revelations by Laurel Dewey

Revelations (Jane Perry #3)
Laurel Dewey

Release Date: June 14th, 2011
Publisher: The Story Plant 
Page Count: 479
Source: Received from publisher, via Pump Up Your Book Promotions, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

How many secrets does it take to curse a family?
How many revelations does it take to set them free?

The small, upscale Colorado town of Midas had barely registered on Sergeant Detective Jane Perry's radar before her former boss and current colleague told her she needed to join him there for  a case. All she knew was that it was a long way from Denver—both in terms of physical distance and sensibility. Jake Van Gorden, the fifteen-year-old son of a prominent area businessman, has disappeared, and all signs point to his abductor being Jordan Copeland, a man who committed a similar crime decades ago. There are indications that Jake is still alive, so the clock is ticking, but as Jane investigates Copeland, she begins to uncover trails of devastating—and even deadly—secrets all around Midas.

Meanwhile, Jane must deal with two considerable secrets of her own. One hits her like a left cross before she leaves Denver, and the other creeps up to her from the most unlikely of places. On top of this, Hank Ross, owner of a bar in Midas, has somehow managed to find a way beneath Jane's armor-plated defenses, forcing her to contend with feelings she hasn't allowed to surface for a very long time.

Revelations is the most powerful and personal Jane Perry novel yet. Teeming with the passions and ambiguities that make Laurel Dewey so compelling to read, it is a breathtaking story of mysteries revealed and withheld. 
What Stephanie Thought: I hadn't read a good ol' mystery novel in a really long time, and boy oh boy, did Revelations satisfy my cravings. There's more than mystery to Laurel Dewey's latest novel, third in the Jane Perry series I have yet to begin with the first. There's riveting suspense. There's gruesome horror. Best (or worst) of all, there's that frightening so-close-to-home shot that had me shivering and assuring myself that all of this was fiction—only fiction. How unbelievably convincing fiction can be.

Jane has the eeriest feeling about Jake Van Gorden's disappearance—while her detective partner and case leader are convinced he's dead, there's something inside her, squirming to get out, that knows Jake's case is too peculiar too give up on.

Her gut instinct proves accurate, but the reader doesn't know this until the last few chapters, when all the small, but confined secrets of Midas are finally revealed.

I cannot believe how scintillating the plot is. Each page brings shocking details to the crime scene, with twists and turns—some, mere red herringsalong the way. The only thing Jake wants, Jane discovers, is to to find out the truth about his family which his parents work so hard to keep hidden from him. But that curiosity eventually gives him the truth, the complete truth, which makes him realize sometimes, ignorance truly is bliss. By the misunderstood departure and scandal of a troubled teenager, Dewey expresses an important, but often neglected moral: the truth that is so sought-after is the same truth we turn our heads away from.

One thing not entirely to my liking is Dewey's fierce dramatization of Jane's dilemma. I assure you, drama is what makes suspense go around, but what Dewey does that bothers me is italicize every other word. Italics are meant for emphasis, but when they're thrown over words too commonly, the emphasis is no more. If you still can't wrap your head around this, think of it this way: Say my house is completely white, but I want to make it unique and paint the door red. Now my house is the most fashionable one on the block. But then let's say I want it to be even more fashionable, and paint all the windows red, as well as the shingles, as well as the exterior walls. Now, in an attempt to make my entire house "unique" by painting the whole thing red, its uniqueness is destroyed and now my house is no longer a white house with a red door; it is a red house.

The ending is unexpected, which, in my opinion, is a necessity to a well-written mystery. As I mentioned, I still haven't gotten the chance to read the two previous Jane Perry novels: Protector (#1) and Redemption (#2). Though Revelations makes a great stand-alone story, I look forward to reading the previous books, as well as future books in the series. In other words, I don't want to read the first two novels to "complete" my understanding of Jane perry; I want to read the first two novels simply because I know they'll be just as good.

Stephanie Loves: "'Don't be afraid that your life will end. Be afraid that it will never begin' — Grace Hansen.
. . . For the most part, [Jane had] been holding her breath much of her life, either waiting for the worst or wondering when the other show was going to drop. SHe'd never had the luxury of sustained peace. Then again, if someone handed her a plateful of peace, she wasn't sure she'd even know what to do with it. It'd be like giving a dog a credit card and telling him to splurge." — I'm certain there is a little bit of all of us in this quote. I personally am a drama-whore; one moment of relaxation makes me spring right back up, in search of stress, because I know it's out there somewhere.

Radical Rating: 8 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥