Friday, August 8, 2008

It Only Takes A Moment by Mary Jane Clark

In It Only Takes a Moment, Janie, the daughter of well-known news anchor Eliza Blake, has been kidnapped along with the housekeeper/nanny, Mrs. Garcia. While the FBI examines the evidence, Eliza and the rest of the Sunrise Suspense Society team do a little investigating of their own even though are beside themselves with worry. They, along with the police, are determined to find the pair and catch whoever is behind the abduction.

I really enjoyed this novel. It was fairly well written, definitely engrossing and certainly entertaining to read. It was fun to follow along with the investigators as they worked through the clues to determine the culprits. The author provides plenty of suspects for the police and Eliza’s team to investigate. As a fan of CNN’s program American Morning, I particularly enjoyed the behind-the-scenes glimpses into reporting and producing segments for the network news. Eliza’s boss at the network who wanted to get the scoop on this story seemed a little callous at times, but maybe that’s what the job requires.

I wouldn’t classify this one as a cozy mystery, but it is a fairly light read. Mary Jane Clark is the “Queen of Short Chapters”. In this book of 341 pages, she squeezes 135 chapters. I dread stopping in the middle of a chapter, so these short chapters allowed me to read as many pages as I wanted in one sitting. At most I'd only have to read a page or two to get to the next chapter. Because the book was so enjoyable, I didn’t really put it down that much. I couldn’t wait to get to the end to find out if Janie and Mrs. Garcia were going to be ok and to learn the identities of the kidnappers.

I’ve also read When Day Breaks, another book in this series. I found this one a little edgier or dark. It could have been my mood or perhaps the subject matter. Kidnapping isn’t a light subject, than again neither is murder.

I loved Clark’s use of what I call “red herring characters”…innocent bystanders who, by circumstance or whatever, lead you astray from the real kidnappers. They add tons of suspense (and sometimes confusion) to the story, but make the story that much more fun to read. She did a great job in revealing these characters and motives at the end. I loved it.

Recommended as a nice light read. Perfect for a day at the beach or a lazy afternoon in the hammock.

I’m looking forward to the next book in the Sunrise Suspense Society series.

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