MIRA, $6.99, ISBN 1-55166-675-8
Romantic Suspense, 2003
The Queen of Third-Tier Romantic Suspense for Right-Wingers, Dinah McCall, is back with The Perfect Lie. It is probably too easy to suggest that the lie here is this author’s believing herself to be a good romantic suspense author. She’s a decent author at small town yarns, but when it comes to action-paced suspense, watching Ms McCall in action is like watching grandma wear a two-piece swimsuit six sizes too small.
A long time ago, our hero, undercover CIA agent Jonah Blaine, believed that his girlfriend had an abortion. Abortion = slut = die, bitch, die. But of course, there was no abortion, and the kid is now raised by our heroine Mercedes “Marcie” Blaine, whom we know is good because she has a big crush on her sister’s guy since forever and now she is a caregiver for that kid. The hero’s enemy discovers the existence of our Midget Plot Device Kid through means so contrived that I can’t bear to go into, kidnaps him, and our heroine runs to our hero for help.
Marcie, like every heroine in this author’s romantic suspense books, is pathetic as a whiny, teary-eyed, passive, useless twit whose sole function in this book is to be a mother and a receptacle for the action hero’s passion. Jonah is a template uniformed action hero and his amazing scenes suggest that the author is inspired by some of the worst episodes of MacGyver. There’s nothing wrong with MacGyver – the early seasons anyway – but it doesn’t have annoying secret babies and right-wing values hammered into my head like the anvil of doom. It doesn’t have villains going on and on in repetitious manic cracklings. It doesn’t have a heroine whose spine must be made from goo. Oh, and it has Richard Dean Anderson.
The Perfect Lie has an amateurish feel to it. The “tormented” hero is too much like a template, the heroine reminds me of that idiot Sheridan from Passions, you know what, this whole book feels like what it will be when Passions decides to do a “Murder Special” episode. And at least Passions has cute orangutans. Wait, not Sheridan. Marcie reminds me of Lana Lang from Smallville. Except that even the worst episode of Smallville is still better than this book. And it will be better when Lana dies, Whitney gets resurrected, Lex, Chloe and Clark (let’s toss in Whitney and Lex’s brother too) turn bisexual Amish and they all have hot monkey sex day and night… Now, where was I?