Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Love You More by Jennifer Murphy

I Love You More
Jennifer Murphy
2/5 stars

I was given this book by the Amazon Vine program in return for an honest review.

I Love You More is a novel about a controlling, deceitful man (Oliver Lane) and the three lives he was living. When he is found murdered, his three wives are, naturally, suspected. This novel is told from several points of view: Oliver's daughter (Picasso). his three wives (as one joint voice), the investigating detective and Oliver's ghost.

I Love You More begins with a fantastic first chapter. The voice of Picasso, was real, the writing was crisp and the hook compelling.

After that excellent beginning, the writing immediately became banal, the characters (even Picasso) cardboard, cliched and not often convincing, and the plot lost it's power.

It was obvious by page 38 who had killed Oliver, so the intended "shocking surprise ending" was no such thing; it was actually just a relief to get to the end of the book.

The separate voices were not distinct enough to be credible and the situations (particularly those involving the three wives together) did not always seem plausible. Picasso, in particular, did not act as a child her age (even a precocious one) would, leaving the reader to wonder if the author has had experience with pre-teen girls. This is a shame, as the first chapter made her seem so alive and believable. As the novel continued, though, her experiences were unlikely and seemed to be filler to flesh out the book, as they added little to the plot.

There were also details that made the book difficult for me, that most likely would not bother others and therefore I didn't add them into my consideration for ratings. However, those actually from North Carolina will find the book frustrating. I know that Ms. Murphy thanks others for their input into North Carolina, and the blurb states she lived there for a while. Unfortunately, she still did not grasp the difference in between the three regions, nor the difficulty of travel between those three. In addition, she slipped into cliche with the types of women found in each region.

The other detail was that of handgun ignorance. If I don't want to give spoilers, I can't be precise, but I can say that the author has obviously never shot a handgun, and has no idea of recoil.

If Ms. Murphy had been able to spend the time editing and rewriting the novel to the quality of the first chapter, this would be a stellar work, despite the predictable (and so often done) plot. Sadly, she did not, and as such it is a less-than-mediocre effort.

Note: This is my opinion; on Amazon, 44% of the reviews are 5 stars.