It is incredibly unrealistic for readers to expect authors to produce their “best work ever” in each new book. Unrealistic, but unfortunately, all too human, and the response I found myself having as I read The River Knows.
The River Knows starts off with murder, and the flight of a young woman too terrified to face the consequences. Killing a member of the ton, even in self-defense, cannot be ignored, and she would rather disappear than try to explain her actions. Several recent drowning victims have given her an idea of how to stage her own death.
A year later we find Anthony Stalbridge sneaking down a darkened hallway searching for the elusive Mrs. Bryce. She is a mystery and an enigma, and Anthony has always liked puzzles. Although the only reason he can think of for her to be in this area is robbery, he hopes she has a more reasonable explanation when he locates her. If he can locate her before the guards do, Anthony is going to be expecting some answers.
Louisa Bryce is surprised to find Anthony Stalbridge in the Hastings hallway, but quickly deduces that he must be a professional burglar. She has need of a man with those skills, and immediately offers to hire him. What a case of mistaken identity!
The book starts in promising fashion, only to roll slowly downhill until as a reader, I lost all interest in the characters or plot. The book was dull and bland, not at all Ms. Quick’s usual compelling story. In alarm, I did something I rarely do when reviewing – I checked a few other sites and message boards to see what they had to say about The River Knows. Relieved that I was not alone in my assessment, I also felt badly for the author as her latest book was pronounced “boring” in the sites I checked. Since my expectations were unrealistic to begin with, this will not change my buying habits where the author is concerned. She is an auto-buy for me in any of her nom de plume.