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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review: Premeditated by Ryan Hunter

Disclaimer: I reviewed this book at a request from the author. I received nothing in return for the review and the comments are my opinions and mine alone.


Plotting murder began as a game until the first killing took place, bringing seventeen-year old Jenna Adamson to the realization that playing God isn’t a game at all.

Convicted of murder, Jenna escapes to stop the other murders, murders she claims were planned in a game of revenge. Unable to stop the killings alone, Jenna enlists the help of her ex-boyfriend, entrenching him in a conspiracy that could cost him his future.

As the two evade police and stumble into crime scenes, Jenna fears the day the identity of the real killer is unveiled. She knows the truth could steal away more than her freedom.

Premeditated has been described as "Powerful, creepy and slightly disturbing."

Minimal Plot Spoilers… Murder is a nasty affair. Serial murders, far worse. The premise of this story is that seventeen year-old Jenna Adamson has been convicted of a murder she didn’t commit and so escapes from jail to put things right. To further complicate things, she actually confessed to the murder, knew all the intricate details and was serving time for it. But putting things right, as I say, is foremost in her mind. Somehow Jenna believes that by escaping from jail she can stop a whole series of murders from happening. And what is more she is going to involve her ex-boyfriend in her plan, against his will. What could possibly go wrong?

Tambri is a police detective determined to stop Jenna and return her to jail, if only she can track her down and capture her again. But Jenna proves very elusive and the only clues Tambri receives are the frequent letters that Jenna writes her, mostly describing the next murder that will occur. Of course, these letters only help to convince Tambri that Jenna is, in fact, the real murderer.

It becomes a race against time as Jenna tries to stop the pre-planned murders from happening and clear herself and her ex-boyfriend, Skyler, in the process. And did I mention earlier, what could possibly go wrong? Things do not go quite according to Jenna’s plan and a non-stop cat and mouse game begins with Tambri and the police, before the ultimate confrontation with the real killer.

The book moved along at a good pace and on the whole kept me engaged with the story. There were a few good plot twists, but generally the reader knows where it’s all headed after the first few chapters. The book was well constructed and the style, language, grammar and editing were better than most Indie Authors. My major critique of the book involves the back-story of the main characters Jenna, Skyler and Tambri. I never ever felt completely vested in the characters and cared 100% for how things turned out. As I say, the story was well written, but I was left trying to understand what exactly drove the characters to do the things they did. Of course things were sort of explained towards the end of the novel, but by then it was too late and only served to be more of an anticlimax.

In summary the book was a solid read and kept me interested enough to want to finish it. “Powerful, creepy, slightly disturbing”? Certainly it was slightly disturbing and a little creepy in places, but it did not strike me as a powerful book. If you’re looking to read something fairly light by a new Indie Author, give it a go. I look forward to reading the next book by Ryan Hunter and seeing how her writing matures.

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