Voices Carry
by Mariah Stewart, contemporary (2001)
Sonnet, $6.99, ISBN 0-671-78591-5

I just love the title of this book. That 'Til Tuesday song of the same name is one of my all-time fave songs. In fact, come to think of it, that song Voices Carry conveys a better atmosphere of being stifled, frustration, and terpidation much better than this book. Voices Carry - the book - has a fabulous romance between two screwed-up characters (my favorite) but the suspense is wobbly.

FBI agents are investigating the murder of twelve women. John Mancini and Genna Slow, ex-flames, find themselves in the same team. Like they say, you can't keep a hot smokin' barbecue fire down. John Left once when they were lovers, and Genna, with her phobia for abandonment and all, cannot accept his presence in her life again even when logic tells her he has a rather valid reason for leaving. Genna has lots of issues and so does John, and in the hands of an inept author, this could mean a lethal vortex of exaggerated whinings and big misunderstandings. No such blunders here.

John and Genna both know they are screwed-up people, and they both to make do and be the best they could be despite all those demons in their head. That's what makes the romance in Voices Carry work for me: these two lead characters win my sympathies and I want them to heal, not drown in the pool of their owh whingy tears or something.

But the suspense is a bit off. The pace just drags like a turtle trying to pull a trailer along a highway - the same problem I have with this author's previous romantic suspense Brown-Eyed Girl. The whole case sort of meanders around in its own sweet time until wham! That's it? That's the end?

Still, Voices Carry is a very good tale of two dysfunctional people finding love. The author still need to find her own balance between suspense and romance, if you ask me, especially when it comes to pacing (it isn't just putting in a killer and springing him out of the box when the page count ends). Still, a great effort.

Rating: 84

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