Monday, December 2, 2013
But just minutes after hitting the beach, they're approached by a panicked young woman. A gofer on the biggest reality hit since "Survivor," she's lost the show's child star and must find her, now, before anyone else realizes she's gone. Rachel, Bailey, and Toni put their dreams of paradise on hold and embark on a whirlwind search for the girl--a search that ends with a twist so disturbing no one, not even a fortune-teller, could have seen it coming... -- Hachette Audio
I always enjoy the Rachel Knight books by Marcia Clark. So when I found out that Ms. Clark had written a short story called TROUBLE IN PARADISE with all of the characters I've come to know and love, I jumped at the chance to read it -- or in this case, listen to it.
TROUBLE IN PARADISE takes place in Aruba when Rachel and her best friends Bailey and Toni take a much needed vacation at a gorgeous resort. However, these three can't seem to truly get away from the jobs that consume their lives. Only minutes after they check out the resort and the beach. a woman approaches them and is desperate for their help. She is a gofer for a major child celebrity who happens to have one of the biggest reality shows on television and also happens to be missing!
Rachel, Bailey, and Toni decide to help the woman search for the girl... but only for a few hours. Their "investigation" takes them all over the island and introduces them to a strange cast of characters including a fortune teller. What they discover is somewhat shocking, but actually makes total sense in a strange way!
TROUBLE IN PARADISE was a quick listen and ideal for my morning runs. I have to say that I didn't like it quite as much as the Rachel Knight novels, but I did enjoy this shorter (and lighter) version of a Rachel Knight investigation. It was fun to see the women away from Los Angeles and dealing with a kidnapping rather than a murder mystery. While Rachel still showed her spunky and determined nature, there were still plenty of comedic elements in this novel.
In addition, I appreciated the satire in this story. Granted, some of the topics in the story were easy picking! The kidnap victim in the story is a reality show star and will definitely remind readers of a certain someone. Plus, the star and her family, as well as the show's producers, provide ample opportunity to poke fun at our obsession with "reality" television. I couldn't help but giggle at some of their behavior!
I realize that it's probably harder in many ways to write a short story than a novel, and TROUBLE IN PARADISE just didn't have as much depth as I wanted from Rachel and her friends. Rather, the story was light and the ending was almost too odd for me. I wanted to be surprised, but I saw where the story was going pretty early on -- not that I figured out all of the details, but enough of them.
I can't wait until Ms. Clark's next Rachel Knight book comes out. In the meantime, TROUBLE IN PARADISE provided some fun and a few laughs!
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this audio book.