I like a bit of Tess Gerritsen. She can usually be relied upon to write well constructed pacy exciting novels involving crime, and forensics, that sort of thing. She's a looser less stuffy Patricia Cornwell.All the books of hers I've read to date have been entertaining page turners- "The Surgeon", "Bloodstream" , The Apprentice" Body Double"- which leads to the pertinent question , why is "In Their Footsteps" such execrable tosh?
Essentially this flimsy tale of two siblings scurrying around Paris trying to get to the bottom of their parents death which has been attributed officially to their father killing the mother then taking his own life is a lamentable attempt to fuse the skulduggery and intrigue of James Bond with a Mills and Boon romance. Set in the hyperventilating but prosaic world of MI6 the C.I.A. and other enigmatic Government and State agencies it quite clearly purports to be exotic and alluring with it's upper class society settings and stupid character names ("Richard Wolf ", I ask you) All this in reality does is make it seem like it's written by a hormonal fourteen year old, which given the crass plot and dire prose may well have been the case. I presume Gerritsen was writing at that age? I can only assume her agent thought it would slip by unnoticed and keep her in the best seller's lists.
Some of the guff in this novel is such bilious tat that editors of those real life story magazines that silt up newsagent stands would dismiss it as too overwrought and florid which when you take into account their intended audience-frustrated denizens of suburbia or menopausal spinsters-is saying something. "His lips grazed hers, it was the lightest of kisses, but it was heady with the taste of champagne. At one she craved another kiss, a longer kiss. For a moment they both stared at each other, hovering on the edge of temptation." Dear god women, what possessed you .Sorry rhetorical question there, but one thing is sure there is no excuse for unmitigated dross such as "The taste of his lips on hers sent a shudder through her body. If this is my punishment, she thought, then let me commit the crime again".
The only reason it escapes one star hell is it made me laugh out loud on several occasions, though that was incontrovertibly not the intention, and it's idiotically entertaining. And it's short. Other than that the sight of the waste paper bin left me "hovering on the edge of temptation".