North of Montana by April Smith

I pulled this book off the shelf and read it in about three days. With about 300 pages, it’s a pretty quick read and a page turner. However…

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The novel follows Special Agent Ana Grey of the FBI in an exciting series of events that move her up the agency chain. After a single-handed bust, she’s put on a high profile case involving celebrity Jayne Mason. Eager to impress her boss, she digs into the claims only to find out that the truth is a lot harder to find that she thought. To complicate matters, a parallel situation occurs with a long lost relative, forcing Ana to piece together her questionable family history.

Maybe you can already see the problem post plot description, but if you can’t, let me spell it out for you. Smith created a stereotypical FBI heroine who predictably is off to prove herself in the male world of crime fighting and instead gets wrapped up in her own emotional past. Now, here’s the thing: If Smith had just made Grey a kickass FBI heroine, that would have been fine. Sure, give her a little conflict and some good plots twists. However,  throwing in the family conflict subplot flashbacks distracted from the main plot and made her unbelievably soft, a counter to what Smith set Grey up as in the first chapters. I get giving a character more depth, but if the story was made to be stereotypical, than the depth isn’t believable.

Nonetheless, I’d be interested in reading another novel about Ana Grey, for two reasons: one, I thought she was pretty badass, and two, to see if the next novel follows the stereotypical outline as well. I’ll let keep you posted, folks.

 

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