Lane Changes (P.I. Cassie Cruise #1)
Lane Changes, by S. L. Ellis, is the first novel in the Cassie Cruise, private investigator series. After a major blow up on reality TV, Cassie Cruise left the city she grew up in Michigan, for a small town, in a supposedly no crime area, Florida.
She spends her days trying to run her recently bought tattoo parlor, along with working a few cases on the side; such as finding her neighbor’s biological father.
As she is settling into this new life, her car is torched. And that’s not all; in the trunk a body is discovered. Cassie is on the case to discover who the body is and why her car was chosen. And that’s not all she is investigating. Cassie’s neighbor suddenly does not want to meet her father, does not want Cassie anywhere near her, and has a complete shift in personality. Cassie decides to do what she does best, and discover the truth behind these questions.
Thoughts After Reading:
I have to be honest and say that I did not care for this book. I am a huge mystery fan and when I read the synopsis I thought that this would be an instant hit, however, it was the complete opposite. I had many problems with this book, starting with the main character. Cassie, to me, is very unlikeable. Instead of coming off tough and in charge, Cassie’s character is mean, judgmental, abrupt, rude, and selfish.
As the main character and narrator, one has to have some redeeming qualities to endear them to the reader, none of which were exhibited until the very end when a friend’s illness was revealed.
Another issue I have with this book is that it is the first in the series, yet we are dropped into her life and given very little back story into our character and her friends. As a reader I often felt lost, confused, and a bit angry at the lack of information.
We are teased with bits of why she moved and snippets of her family’s dynamics, but they are introduced too far into the story for my taste, leaving me very frustrated. Cassie’s fiancé, Vince, is mentioned multiple times throughout the story, but hardly even exhibited in it. We have no clue how long they have been together, when they met, whether he followed her from Michigan to Florida or met her in Florida; essentially there is no substance to their relationship. When he is constantly attending to Cassie’s neighbor’s needs instead of her own, we as a reader have no standard on which to judge him or view him. Is he a cad cheating on her? Or is he a very helpful person and this behavior is typical? Instead Vince feels as if he is just a prop for Cassie and not a real character.
The same goes for Cassie’s best friend Janice, who is given more involvement, but the same lack of history, personality, and chemistry.
The mystery itself was a bit strange as well. It starts with the burning car and charred body, but has very little to do with it. Cassie is hardly questioned at all about the event and we never hear of the police making any headway into solving it. In fact, Cassie does not even really look into the burning car.
I know, a cheap exploitation. Instead the mystery is mostly about the neighbor; Cassie’s search for the biological father and her looking into the strange personality changes. I will say that the mystery surrounding her neighbor was interesting and written in a captivating way.
For me this book was not a perfect match and I would personally give it one out of five stars.
For more mystery book reviews, go to A Dash of Death (Hemlock Falls #2)