Connections by Mary Lou Gediman

Hannibal is just not sure about the camera.

Why I Read It: The cover drew me in.

Where I Got It: As a review copy from the author (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: If you greatly enjoy PG-rated daytime mystery/crime shows like Murder She Wrote, you might enjoy this book.

Publisher: Createspace (2012)

Length: 234 pages

The book opens with Pontiac Parker, a 60-something mechanic) and his fiance Maggie Lerner making final preparations for their wedding. Straight off, mystery ensues with an unknown peeping tom in a black SUV studying them through binoculars the night before their wedding. I series of mysterious messages follows over the next few days, plaguing the newly weds. Soon they have the neighborhood busybody elderly Matilda involved along with Maggie’s grown daughter Abbie and her fiance Dick.  The plot goes on to reveal long-lost relatives and a large corporation conspiracy, with the key lying buried far across the country.

Overall, I didn’t connect with any of the characters, finding them one dimensional. While I appreciated Mary Lou Gediman‘s down-to-earth banter between Maggie and Pontiac, it wasn’t anything special. The more you read, the more you find things cliched; and I read a lot. However, there were more cliches in this book than I was prepared for. At the beginning, two adults in their 60s finding true love and marrying was endearing. But then the story becomes flooded with loose ties to the number 7, simple alpha-numeric puzzles, and character slippage (one character’s attributes bleeding into another). Additionally, I felt that Abbie was written as a late 20s or 30-ish woman at the beginning but later slipped into the behavior of a snotty 15-year-old, perhaps for the convenience of conflict.

Most of this story takes place in Virginia. Pontiac is Native American and Maggie Caucasian. When I picked this book up, I expected this inter-racial relationship to be a source of deep discussion in the book, but it’s not really mentioned. Instead of this source of possible strength and/or conflict adding depth to the book, it was glanced over. The story later involves a car trip cross country to Washington state, visiting various of Pontiac’s friends and relatives along the way. This could also have been another source of discussion about regional and tribal differences concerning a breadth of stuff, including bringing Maggie into the family. Alas, a missed opportunity for the author.

What I Liked: The cover; the relationship between Maggie and Pontiac.

What I Disliked: The characters were one dimensional; the plot was weak; the conspiracy theory was not believable; I didn’t connect with any of the characters; there were several small inconsistencies throughout the book (e.g. Pontiac has a thing for the number 7 which everyone on the reservation knows, however later this oddity comes up and it’s stated that few people know of his connection to the number 7).

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