Book Review: Count to Ten by Karen Rose

Beware: in this review, I will be making sweeping generalizations, comments that probably aren't backed up by any facts and also cursing up a storm.

Some of that might be lies.

Yes, I AM in a chipper mood, thank you for noticing! You might ask yourself why when I went on a hateful rant about a woman who is (most likely) perfectly amazing and who millions of people love and adore and who would cut my head off as a sacrifice to her amazingness. It's because I've finished Count to Ten. Really. If you're a fan of suspense fiction, murder mysteries or have ever had a debate on whether your circumstances are something that are the result of your bad choices or if your circumstances are from having to choose between two bad situations, this book is for you.

Seriously.

Yes, there's romance in it and stop rolling your eyes. There's romance but it's almost background and used as breather scenes in between all the dark and the pain. It's like when you watch an action movie: action movies typically will have comic scenes or sex scenes in order to break up the action or the gritty "realism" (except Miami Vice which sucked) to give you a breather, give you some time to re-group before the next bout of action or grit.

Also, the sex in the book? HOT HOT HOT! And probably moreso by the restraint she's shown in not making sex the focus of the book.

What else is good? The villain (and I'm actually leery about using that term). Oh god, I'm actually going to defend a serial killer. In the beginning, I almost felt weighed down by the evil of what he was doing, even though there was a hint of what had happened to him to build up this kind of rage in him. Does that sound cheesy? Probably. Anyway, throughout the rest of the book, you see where, as a child in their care, how the adults that were around him (the targets of his rage right now) failed him to the fullest extent, how he lives a life built around having to choose between similarly distasteful choices and how he wasn't able to rise above it.

His life and his… quest, I guess you would call it is paralleled with the female lead investigator's but for her, she's living a life where people have made choices that she has to live with and it's created this… darkness and a burden to her. You can feel her struggling through her dark and watching her struggle, you want to see her come out the other side.

The story isn't a trite "and they lived happily ever after"; with what's happened, it can't. Each character still lives with the choices they've made and the adjustments they've gone through to try to make their lives and the lives around them better. There isn't a happy family reunion at the end but for a book that does delve into human pain and misery, Karen Rose does an amazing job showing that flicker of light that we all hope to reach.

And yes, that's my cheesiest review yet. Still, go read the book. If I'm wrong, flame me.

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