Title: Thicker than Water
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication Date: 29th December 2015
Rating: 1/5 stars
Thomas Bellweather would never knowingly hurt someone he loved. But when his mother is murdered inside their locked house, he is the only suspect. Even his cop-stepdad can’t protect him forever in a new town where no one knows or trusts him.
The only person who believes him is Charlotte, sister to three protective cops and straight-up dangerous to Thomas. She knows there are pieces missing in the puzzle, and she’s determined to find them.
But finding things that are hidden could get them both killed.
I have heard pretty good things about Brigid Kemmerer’s Elementals series, so when I got hold of an early copy of this book, I was pretty keen to give it a go. Unfortunately, this is a book I really shouldn’t have finished. It just annoyed me right through to the end.
The first half of the book seems to be solely dedicated to watching the development of a relationship between Thomas and Charlotte. Thomas is a bad boy, dark and mysterious, and all the cops in town are watching him. Charlotte is a good girl, fulfilling the traditional role her family expects of her. There are a ridiculous number of double entendres which Kemmerer spells out for the reader, just in case we don’t notice the sexual tension.
Charlotte’s character seems to be relegated to the fifties, expected to be the perfect, demure daughter, and tidy up after her three brothers. She is also a great cook. Kemmerer has added traits to avoid this, such as Charlotte’s ability to defend herself physically, but they felt stilted in the context of her traditional family.
I was expecting a paranormal element, and while there was one, it didn’t appear until the last third of the book, too late to work well within the context of the story. Thomas was too confused to be a good narrator here, and it reduced the impact of the ending. The resolution doesn’t make very much sense.
Overall, the book was a total disappointment. The paranormal element was not examined in nearly enough detail to make sense, and the romance was totally overdone. The crime thriller aspect to the story was just appalling – while there was an outcome to the murder case, it wasn’t explained very well… I had to reread the last chapter to check that someone did actually figure out what was going on. And even then I’m not sure that they did…
Why would you not finish a book? Do you regret taking the time to read something you don’t enjoy?