The Candidate’s Daughter

I’ve pretty much given up on self-pub books. Too much crap to wade through to find the few gems among them. However, when several people you know start talking about one, it may well be worth checking out. That’s the case with The Candidate’s Daughter.

There are scenes in this book that stretched my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. Sadly, those scenes didn’t do a whole lot to advance the plot and could have been handled better, or cut altogether, but they are short and passed quickly. And, while typos and inconsistent formatting don’t bother me all that much, be prepared if they bother you; sadly, there are quite a few to trip over.

Okay, that’s the negative stuff out of the way.

There are two main characters in this; Kelsey and Elizabeth. Ms Lea has a good grasp on Kelsey, not so much on Elizabeth, leastwise not in the beginning. The first chapter, from Kelsey’s POV, hits the ground running and, throughout the book, Kelsey never slows down much. These are fairly well crafted chapters, hard hitting, fast, full of obstacles to over come and tension enough to snap a steel bolt. The second chapter introduces Elizabeth and Richard, the kidnapped girl’s parents. The first few visits with Elizabeth, with or without Richard, are dense and plodding and a bit of a chore to wade through. However, Ms Lea shakes off her lethargy about a third of the way in and, while they never reach the pace of the Kelsey chapters, they do take on an important, character-arcing life of their own.

You know you’ve become wrapped up in a story when you start talking aloud to the characters: “Kelsey Kelsey Kelsey, you are not as stupid as you think. Matt is the stupid one, can’t you see that?”. And there was more than one moment when I wanted to smack Elizabeth upside the head and tell her to get a grip. Which, satisfyingly enough, she does.

This is a good story with a good pace, despite the sputtering start. And the end, well, let’s just say you should hold on to your hat.

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