A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

DARK OF NIGHT by Suzanne Brockmann

DARK OF NIGHT by Suzanne Brockmann

This isn't so much an interview as it is a stream of consciousness of my thoughts about reading this book.

Life is hard. Life is complicated. And, boy oh boy...life is messy!

Once again I'm in the shower, the place I do some of my best thinking, and I just can't shake my thoughts about DARK OF NIGHT. Is it the characters? The plot? The ending? What? What? I'm thinking...and thinking...and thinking.

The stories that Ms. Brockmann writes, whether about her Navy SEALS or the gang at Troubleshooters Inc., in theory would seem a bit implausible. However, that's never what I'm thinking when I'm reading her books. I'm usually wondering how I would react in the same set of circumstances.

Would I find love? What would I do after excruciating loss? Do SEALS really come and go with as much frequency as her books imply? And, most frequently, I'm wondering how I would endure being a military wife. Could I, with a life and career of my own, in love with a man who's life and future are dictated by someone else, stay in that relationship? Accept our lives being tossed about by the Navy's whim? Do I have enough spine to endure the worry and separation?

Back in the shower I'm wondering whether it says more about me or the writer that I'm thinking this much about the book. Like the proverbial mouse on the wheel over and over again I'm trying to break down why Decker and Tracy, the most unlikely of friends, much less lovers, won't let me go.

I bought this book because as a general rule I love the way Suzanne Brockmann writes. Not every book is a grand slam, but I've never left one of her books feeling cheated either. I also bought it because I wanted needed to read how Ms. Brockmann was going to resolve the surprise ending in the previous book INTO THE FIRE. Frankly, though, I really enjoyed the focus on the relationship dynamic between Tracy and Decker.

One other thing I was conscious of while reading this book was the dense and complex world Ms. Brockmann has created. More so than many other books and series, her characters populate more than one book and may have a secondary story in another book after they've been the focal story. Conversely, a single or group of characters can have secondary story lines for several books before taking center stage.

It makes the reading both more fun and more frustrating. However, it is always a marvel to see these characters from previous books grow, evolve and see their lives go on beyond the book they 'starred' in.

As I was reading DARK OF NIGHT snippets and vignettes of characters came and went through the pages. I was amazed that these didn't feel like add-ons and one dimensional people appearing on the page. Some how Ms. Brockmann retains their character integrity and often enhances it.

At the end of the day and this book, I find myself thinking about what loving someone means. How far do you go? How much do you endure? Is it really 'falling' in love or walking straight ahead knowing that it's going to be hard and saying 'yes' to it anyway?

So maybe I should have started by saying,

Love is hard. Love is complicated. And, boy oh boy...love is messy.

Good book. B+ from me.

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Blogger Stacy~ said...

I am a huge Suz fan, and I have to agree with everything you said.

There is a layer of complexity to her characters that was especially evident in this book. We learn a lot about Decker, for example, things we never realized before. We see one couple especially who's had their own book yet are still struggling in some ways with their HEA - it's hard, and yes, messy.

Very thought-provoking post this morning :)

5:22 AM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Stacy, I think her writing has just gotten better and better. I'm always excited to see what SB is going to do next. But yeah, whether or not I'm really in to the current book she's written or not, they are always thought provoking.

6:11 AM PST  
Anonymous Mollie said...

*possible spoilers*

Excellent review! You captured everything I love in a Suz novel. I love the multiple book story lines and the recurring characters--although I think that could make it really hard for someone who just accidentally picks up one of Suz's books, not knowing it's part of a series. I think you miss a lot if you haven't read all the books.

I thought this book had the huge potential for very angry fans...seeing how so many people were invested in either the Sophia/Decker or Sophia/Dave pair up. I didn't really have a preference but I really like how Tracy made Decker feel less of perv for enjoying something more than just vanilla sex....

And I'm just happy she didn't end up with Izzy. Now, if we can just git rid of the child bride.... :)

8:34 AM PST  
Blogger Nikki said...

Great review! I agree with everything you said. Brockmann and Kleypas are the only authors who have never disappointed me.

I was one of the fangirls who was not to thrilled to read the book because I read the spoilers. I was not sure how I would feel about this book. Decker should be with Sophia, period.

Well, I was wrong. She (Siz) did it again. Not only could I understand why Decker and Sophia could never be together but I liked where that fact lead them both.

I loved this book. Seeing the characters that had HEA in other books was great. I still love Sam!!!!

She could do a series of just Sam and Alyssa books as far as I'm concerned--like the In Death series. That is how rich her characters are!!

BTW, cant wait to see all the So Cal bloggers this weekend!!

10:35 AM PST  
Blogger nath said...

I'm glad you enjoyed DiN Rosie :D I read Into the Fire and LOL, that's probably going to be the last book of hers that I read :P

5:19 PM PST  
Blogger ~ames~ said...

I sooo wasn't expecting the whole Decker and Tracy thing. But I'm glad that's where Suz went with it.

Suz is an excellent writer because she draws us into her created world so well.

7:00 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Mollie, weren't you blown away at SB's deft handling of Tracy & Decker?

Nikki, you know I was so conflicted about who Decker should end up with and have to admit every once in a while he needed to be slapped up the side of his head. But I was pretty amazed and not at all unhappy at how things turned out.

Nath, are you sick of the military setting? The multiple story lines? Why don't you read Brockmann any more?

Ames, I wasn't expecting it either. The way the relationship unfolded was like watching a flower bloom. Brockmann certainly sold me on the plausibility.

8:52 PM PST  
Blogger Lori said...

Now, if we can just git rid of the child bride.... Mollie - so true!!

I am so mad that I am still on the waiting list at the library. However JB has it, and I have given her firm instructions that it has to be the first thing she reads, and she must send it to me immediately after she finishes, LOL. So hopefully, soon... cause I'm dying here.

9:37 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Lori, I have to admit the whole child bride thing intrigued me. What's she going to do with those two characters? They are both (yes, Izzy too) borderline unlikeable. As for getting your hands on the book...let's talk, shall we??

10:38 PM PST  
Blogger nath said...

I just can't get into her books :(

8:20 AM PST  
Blogger CindyS said...

Rosie - I just love your posts. Really. Now I'm all up in my head. I stopped reading after Max and Gina so SB could get ahead of me. The wait on charcter arcs were killing me.

Now I just want to read this one NOW but I figure from all the spoilage I get the idea. Luckily with my memory in about a year when the paperback comes out I'll have forgotten everything and can happily read it ;)


2:27 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Cindy, ain't it grand when you have like 3 books to read by a fave author? Can't wait to see what you think...when the pb version comes out. LOL

8:17 PM PST  

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