Book Review: The Line Between Here and Gone by Andrea Kane

The Line Between Here and Gone is sort of romantic suspense in that it seems a lot like a Lifetime Original Movie. The romance, however, kind of feels tossed in at the last minute. It’s sort of a mystery. It wants to be a thriller. It just never felt like one to me.

Which is this thing. Some books appeal to some people just like some music and some movies and some TV shows and… You get the idea. Some books (etc.) don’t. And that’s just fine. This one did not appeal to me. I tried. I failed to like it. Will this stop the best-selling author, Andrea Kane, from selling tons of copies of this one? Hell no.

I like mysteries. I like thrillers. I like a whole lot of things. I don’t so much like Lifetime, and so maybe there’s the problem. And if it feels like I’m beating a dead horse here, that’s how the book felt to me.

The set-up is a sick baby, Amanda Gleason’s infant son. He has an immune disease and he’s caught a kind of pneumonia and he needs a stem cell transplant. Except. But. It. Well, it felt forced. It felt overly convenient by way of being eighteen kinds of tragic. Which is not to say such horrible events don’t befall people in real life. There’s even a theory in criminology that deals with victims of one thing somehow finding themselves victims again and again, sometimes of vastly different crimes. A number of variables are at play, both internal and external, but apparently Amanda Gleason is one of these people. Not only is her son sick, but she can’t be a donor and the baby’s father was brutally murdered before she found out she was pregnant.

So, if it weren’t for an unlikely email from a friend, the book would be about ten pages of crying as the baby dies. (And maybe that’s why this thing lacked suspense for me. Certain authors might kill off a baby, but this didn’t seem like one of them. For that reason, the whole baby-might-be-dying thing felt, again, forced.) The email includes a photo of a man who looks a lot like her dead boyfriend.

Enter Forensic Instincts, a team of experts who had so much potential to be awesome and yet…just didn’t do it for me. Case in point: You’ve got a former Navy SEAL, former FBI agent, breaking into a warehouse and a boat. Sounds exciting, right? Not so much.

Really, I’m sure it’s just me. I’m sure it’s just that I’ve read too much noir and pulp and urban fantasy with zombie thugs and soul reapers running from an angel apocalypse. Except that the poetry-reading potheads in the last book I read were entertaining, too. Then again, maybe that’s the key. I always liked Batman better than Superman because Clark Kent just seemed too earnest and Forensic Instincts is that earnest. These characters do not have warts and their demons just come across as affect.

Again, I’m sure it’s just me. I’m sure other people will enjoy it immensely, especially people who like Superman and Lifetime and Sandra Bullock movies.

Pros: The concept of the specialist team. The setting in the off-season Southampton.

Cons: The constant switching between scenes and characters left me feeling a little whiplashed. The characters never really did it for me. I was kind of bored because I never really felt like the baby was in danger.