"True Colors," Joyce Lamb

Pros: Interesting bad guy; couple with chemistry
Cons: Somewhat florid start; definitely will be too dark for some
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group

 

Alex Trudeau is a photojournalist for her local newspaper. She has a gaggle of rescued, abused dogs and the hots for detective John Logan—who’s finally asked her out. It seems ideal, right up until she discovers that her recent near-death experience triggered a latent empathic ability that causes her to relive people’s most traumatic moments. And John Logan has a few big one’s he’s been hiding from the world. Unfortunately for both Logan and Alex, one of those secrets is about to blow wide open. A man from Logan’s past plans to go through Alex to get to Logan, and his idea of revenge is very bloody indeed.


 

Joyce Lamb’s True Colors is the sequel to True Vision, in which Alex’s sister Charlie discovered that she had a (less super-charged) version of Alex’s ability and went through some traumatic events of her own. Unfortunately for Alex, Logan is far less willing to buy into psychic abilities than Noah was, and that disbelief threatens to tear the two apart despite their definite chemistry.

Speaking of chemistry, the sex scenes between our two intrepid heroes are the source of both my favorite and least favorite moments in True Colors. There are some warm, funny, delightful moments that I adored, but I swear if I read the phrase “[he] claimed her mouth with his” in one more book my head is going to explode in a big bloody mess. (It’s a good example of how some of the early bits of the book fall into stereotypical florid romance land, even though the rest of the book really doesn’t.)

The thriller aspect of the book is good. There’s little mystery as to the identity of the bad guy since we get chapters from his point of view, but it takes a while to piece together exactly why he’s after Logan, and there’s plenty of tension to make up for any lack of mystery. Butch McGee is more than the usual serial killer; he doesn’t fit the Hannibal Lecter-style genius stereotype, nor the deranged psycho stereotype. He’s a surprisingly easy character to relate to, and that makes him all the creepier in the long run. However, because of those chapters from his point of view, if you don’t like reading dark material you’ll definitely want to avoid this one.

True Colors is my favorite of the Joyce Lamb books I’ve read so far. AnnaCoreen is a more interesting and less “convenient” character in this book. We also get some fascinating insight into how it might affect someone to repeatedly experience other people’s worst memories.

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