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Mystery Books - Kate White - Hush

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Hush
Kate White
Harper
352 pages

Hush, the newest mystery thriller by Kate White starts out with a bang:  A terrified, injured woman is being hunted by a known killer:  Exciting, intriguing.  We're hooked.

Next, sipping wine, is Lake Warren-a name that sounds too much like a tourist spot-and her new confidant Molly.  They are discussing the former's impending divorce. 

Lake is unaware of how bad it is going to get until she receives a call from her lawyer, Robert Hotchkiss, informing her that her husband Jack has hit the ground running by filing for sole custody of the two children she would live and die for.

An alternate title for this book could be Smart Woman, Foolish Choices (apologies to Cowan & Kinder), except we're not sure about the smart part.

Despite being cautioned by Hotchkiss to stay squeaky clean, Lake, a marketing consultant for a New York fertility clinic, makes her first serious and potentially lethal mistake:  In an enticingly sexy scene, she sleeps with a flirtatious physician/colleague who is discovered the next morning with his throat slashed.

Everyone at the Advanced Fertility Centre is suspect.  Lake has no alibi, so she lies.  Then when her access to clinic information is thwarted, she believes that something is very wrong within the organization, and sets out to investigate.

Strange and frightening things happen that lead her to believe that she and her children may be in grave danger.  Having been warned, when her life explodes into chaos, it is difficult to be sympathetic.  In addition, Lake, the best developed character of the bunch, engages in perpetual mental dialogues, overthinking new theories and what ifs.  This provides a measure of suspense, but mostly it becomes irritating.

The plot itself follows an interesting premise.  Visceral moments are very good, but the subject matter makes it unlikely a man's mystery novel.  Smooth, easily read, and just complex enough, Hush develops in a subtle, suspenseful manner, not without surprises.  At times, though, the reader wonders where everything is going.

There is a déjà vu moment when the first two pages of the book are incorporated verbatim later on.  It appears that they were lifted from the text to (successfully) create the initial hook.  The reader, who prefers to experience what happens, rather than being told, likewise did not enjoy the debriefing style wrap up.

Unfortunately, the initial enthusiasm for Hush waned.  The book is readable, but could use some  depth and tightening up. 

J Curran

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