Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Book Review: The Caregiver by Astrid Cruz
by Astrid Cruz
Book 1 of the Caregiver Series
ebook available now from amazon and smashwords
Scarlett Lang always dreamt of becoming an Interpol agent. When her hard work pays off and she's given the chance to work as an undercover agent with London's biggest drug lord, Armand Sayer, she can't help being ecstatic about it.
She's employed by Armand's sister (to aid in his recovery from a gun attack) as both caregiver and bodyguard. Her resourcefulness in both areas helps her win much more than Armand's trust, to the dismay of both his right-hand man and her ex-boyfriend / colleague.
As she makes her way into the business she swore to help tear down, she's faced with the dilemma of choosing between being loyal to her profession or her heart. And we all know it can't be both.
I'm in two minds about this book. On the one hand you have an interesting story and fascinating characters that you want to find more about but on the other some of the facts just don't sit right. From what I could discover, Interpol doesn't send undercover agents around the world, they work with the police in each country, it's the country's own police/detectives/agents who would handle arrests etc. and work undercover.
This book is set in the UK, but that was hard to discern. The names didn't sound very English and there were a lot of guns about, even with a story about drug dealers. Guns just don't play that big a part in the UK, even with criminals. More knife crimes would be more realistic in the book than guns. Then, when Scarlett and Armand went to a restaurant in London, the keys were handed to a valet. I have never seen anywhere in the UK with valet parking. Not to say it doesn't exist, I've just never seen it. Maybe I need to go to some better restaurants ;) It seems the author wanted to set the book in the UK, but a lot of it seemed very American to me. Not that that was a bad thing, it just jars a bit when you were expecting something more English-ey.
I did like the book and I loved Scarlett as a tough, no-nonsense woman. Too often in crime thrillers the woman is just there as decoration, not so here. Scarlett holds her own. Armand, I'm not so sure of. The romance between them seemed to happen suddenly, without any hint of foreshadowing. I think it might have worked better with Armand as Scarlett's mentor rather than lover. Personally I just didn't get the romance between them at all. But maybe that's just me, I was never one to fall for the 'bad boy' mentality.
It is a well paced and plotted book and is a fast read, but a bit of a let down with the cliffhanger ending. Even if it's part of a series, I like books to have a good, solid ending. It's good, but could have been so much better with a bit more research.
Reviewed by Annette Gisby.