Little, Brown and Company, February 2005
Reviewed by Barbara Fielding
Nora Sinclair is a black widow. Sudden death follows the men who love her. She's a young and beautiful interior decorator to the rich and famous. When her current fiancÚ Connor Brown, a wealthy hedge-fund manager, dies of a heart attack at 40, Nora appears to be his grieving lover. But things are not exactly as they appear --Nora Sinclair has many secrets.
FBI agent John O'Hara poses as Craig Reynolds, an insurance investigator for Centennial One Life Insurance Company. He is sent to inform Nora she is the beneficiary of a 1.9 million dollar life insurance policy that Connor purchased prior to his death. As soon as the investigation into Connor's sudden death is concluded the company will make the payoff. But before the investigation is done, Craig becomes Nora's new lover. It's a breach of agency ethics and the "honeymoon" doesn't last long. Soon Craig/John discovers exactly how dangerous Nora can really be.
Nothing is really as it appears in James Patterson and Howard Roughan's deadly thriller, HONEYMOON. Double identities, clever plot twists, short chapters and crisp writing are combined to produce a fast paced suspense tale.
John O'Hara is a complicated and interesting lead character whose story left me wanting to know more about him. I can easily see him becoming the subject of a series. I'm not certain what to say about Nora without giving away some plot secrets -- the most important thing I have to say about her is, I didn't like her. She was too perfect to be a sympathetic character. If a writer can make you like a character and then reveal that they are a villain underneath they create a suspenseful conflict for the reader. Then I am eager to see if the character will be redeemed or condemned. I didn't like Nora and it impacted the entertainment value of this book for me.
The cover art labels HONEYMOON as the "2005 International Thriller of the Year." I cannot help but wonder who awarded this honor since it's still early in the year to announce the winner. This is a suspenseful summer beach read, but I'm not sure if I can call it the best of 2005.
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