The Texas Ranger
by Diana Palmer, contemporary (2001)
MIRA, $6.99, ISBN 1-55166-843-2

Oh great, Diana Palmer now decides to do a serious romantic mystery laced with her usual women-are-all-bitches-unless-they-are-virgins misogynia. The latter I can take - that's what the nose plugs are for - but the former is just lame. The suspense is DOA, the mystery is DUI, and the characters are DUH. DUH doesn't stand for anything but duh by the way.

See, there's now a nasty murder in town. Texas Ranger Marc Brannon investigates, and this put him with Josette Langley, a woman whom he has wronged badly. See, when Josie was fifteen, she was almost raped (see the emphasis on the word 'almost' - you can't be loved in Palmerland unless you have a vagina and a hymen, and no, these two are not mutually exclusive). Marc, however, believes her attacker and testifies against her, dragging her morals through the mud and all the sewer pits in the country. But Josie, her love is Pure, and she still loves Marc after all these while. Marc feels guilty, but he can't tell Josie how sorry he is, because he just... have other things to do. And Josie would lament, "Oh, my love is true, what can I do? Boo-hoo-hoo."

Let's just say the idea of these two saddos procreating worry me. In fact, the idea of these two being parents is horrifying.

The mystery? The killer? Let's just say one has to be blind, brain-damaged, deaf, gagged, tied-up, and soused on hallucinogens not to realize his identity the moment he is introduced into the story. That makes Josie and Marc... er, never mind. And the way they gather clues is laughable. It is as if the author has gone on a binge of the lousier episodes of Hunter and Miami Vice to get her Murder Investigations 101.

The misunderstandings in this story are too contrived and transparent to be irritating. I am more amused than anything, really. But the rest of the story is just lame, I really don't see the point of this story at all. Boring, lacklustre, and as fun as watching turtles race the marathon, the only thing that is good about this book is that $6.99 is probably cheaper than the cost of seeing a sleep disorder specialist.

Rating: 49

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