| Home | Fiction | Listserv | Creative Archives | Scholarly Archives |
| Book Review Archives | Critical Essays | Contribute | Search the Site |

Walking the Line

ISBN: 1412026709

By Lynette Bowles
Review by: Deanna G. Wolff

07/06

Right from the first two paragraphs of Walking the Line, Lynette Bowles captures her readers’ interest in this modern mystery thriller. Someone has died – but whom? And why?

Bowles reveals the “whom” (Kate’s husband, Jack), and unveils that the official explanation as to the “why” of Jack’s death has never really been accepted by Kate. A first-class swimmer, Jack had supposedly drowned on a solo fishing trip in the West Indies where he was working on a hotel project. The reader immediately feels Kate’s mind-numbing grief and sorrow.

Having met Jack at a hotel site, Kate’s experience and contacts in the hotel business gets her a job working at the same hotel site in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where Jack worked prior to his death. Her enquiries into his death threaten her own life and, essentially, this is where the mystery and suspense begins.

The setting for Walking the Line is almost like taking a vacation. Whereas most mystery thrillers are set in big cities or small rural towns, we are whisked away to the beautiful palm-lined beaches of the Turks and Caicos. The reader can almost feel the warmth of the sun and the smell of the salty sea in Bowles’ wonderful and skilful use of imagery. No grain of sand is left unturned in her delightfully, if not sometimes overly, descriptive prose.

Whereas Kate is generally a likeable heroine, her shyness and self-doubt sometimes borders on that of a teenager and can become somewhat irksome. She “giggles” a lot and suffers from some self-esteem issues when it comes to her romantic interest in the book, for which she often chastises herself: “She [Kate] knew she was blushing – her face felt as though it was burning. Oh, grow up, she told herself angrily, and took a few deep breaths…”

Bowles cleverly inserts short dialogues throughout the book that clearly plan for Kate’s death – but who is speaking remains a mystery until the end. Unfortunately, however, Bowles’ writing style is a little too relaxed and requires significantly more structure and even possibly a good editor.

Walking the Line is a wonderful story idea, and Bowles’ knowledge of the Turks and Caicos Islands and hotel construction is second to none. I just wish the story were a bit more refined and the heroine a lot less naïve.

Contact Women Writers