Book Review Eighty-Eight Keys

March 13, 2013 at 12:59 am Leave a comment

eighteightkets_10032012_oneTitle: Eighty-Eight Keys

Author: Catherine Lavender

Genre: Romance/Suspense

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Leah is a young woman who is trying to break free from a strict religious background and pursue her dream as a pianist in the world of show business. While trying to find her independence her heart is held captive by Jason Rowe a local basketball star who established an organization to help troubled youth. When Jason is found murdered in his home, Leah is determined to get answers from a closed investigation. During her state of emotional turmoil, Leah finds comfort not only in the melody of her music, but in the arms of a married man named Calvin. With her dreams at her fingertips, Leah is tangled in a web of lies and deceit. Despite the fear of learning the truth, Leah has to realize that only the truth can set her free.

A dead lover, with a trail of broken hearts…
A married man, with a double-life…
A dream chaser, with a killer at her heels…
A piano, with eighty-eight keys…

Jason is dead. The man Leah loved. At his funeral, she’s kicked out by Rosa, the mother of Jason’s young son, Jay-Jay. Calvin, one of Jason’s friends, comes to comfort Leah and they agree to go on a date. That sounded kind of odd to me, but I was ready to go with the flow. Calvin and Leah go on a few dates, and it seems like Leah is at least somewhat capable of letting go of the love she felt for Jason, even though he’s continuously at the back of her mind.

Leah has always loved playing the piano, but her strict religious parents insisted that was something she could only do in church, and not try professionally. Now a grown woman, Leah is ready to take her chances and participate in a piano concert in Vegas. But if she’s accepted that would mean moving to Vegas, and Calvin isn’t too pleased to hear that. Then again, Leah isn’t too pleased when she finds out Calvin is still married either.

The sentences at the end of the summary sum up nicely how complicated this book truly is. Jason, the dead lover, leaves behind an impressive trail of broken hearts, and all of them could be the murderer. Then again those aren’t the only possible culprits either. Jason may have been a charming man, but he had his fair share of enemies. The married man leading a double life is obviously Calvin, and he’s not doing such a good job at it. Leah tries to chase her dreams, but unfortunately when Jason’s killer resurfaces, it puts her in danger as well.

I like complicated books. I liked Eighty-Eight Keys. The plot meandered from event to event, leaving me at times surprised, other times thrilled as I waited for what was about to happen next. The characters however could’ve been more intriguing if they had more personality. It felt to me like Leah was the only character fully developed, but since the book was told from the point of view of various characters – the ‘God perspective’, if I remember well from English class – it would’ve been better if more characters had a full, complex personality. Also, the romance. When I read ‘romantic suspense’, I expect a bit more romance than what we get here. Whenever there is romance, it’s all very tame and mild, like dates and such. Not entirely my cup of tea – I prefer more outspoken romance, with hot and heavy scenes. Even if it were just a few kisses, that would’ve sufficed, but here there’s not enough romance to qualify as ‘romantic suspense’ for me.

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