Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
on 30 June 2010
I greatly enjoyed The Insider, Ava McCarthy's debut novel of computer based intrigue and gambling, so had high hopes for the second book featuring heroine Harry Martinez, which promised thrills and intrigue in the worlds of horse-racing and diamonds with murder on the side. The parts featuring Harry herself were well-written, the way she is set-up to take the fall for a murder and again has to involve her dad and friends in her attempts to uncover the truth and find the real culprit, some great scenes and atmosphere, but I found the sections dealing with conflict diamonds less readable: the way the action moved from fast-paced light-hearted chase and banter to deadly serious suffering of exploited people was an uneasy match, and I found the plot such as it was confusing.
There were too many characters and the pace kept slowing to a crawl to include the other elements, which derailed any thriller aspect. Here too, Harry's main skills seemed to gain little use, and her risk-taking and clashes with the police seemed more stereotype than fresh and fun. All in all I decided not to continue reading, as I had little interest in finding out what happened. If the author gives Harry another outing I shall cautiously borrow it from the library, as this was just a waste of good ideas and an engaging central figure in rather forced events. Avoid.