Recommend by: Riley
Public Secrets is a story of mystery and suspense that ends up very firmly in the SciFi category. To be honest, as I started to read this book, I was a little dubious. It is a contemporary setting on Earth and begins under seemingly everyday circumstances – a plane flight. Where is the SciFi in that?
Two strangers, each trying to avoid the public, end up seated next to each other in the first class section on a flight to New Zealand. Each is sure the other recognizes her/him. In reality, neither knows who the other is. This back and forth between two total strangers was kind of fun. And all along, the possible romance is hinted at.
Stranger #1 is Carla Simon – author. She writes fiction. At least she thinks it is fiction. But her books bear extremely remarkable similarities to real life situations, right down to the names of the characters. And some of those characters/people are really unhappy. Carla is on her way to New Zealand for some R&R. She prefers her breakfast to be organically grown.
Stranger #2 is Chad Tyler – professional football player. Chad is headed to New Zealand to do a little PR work and to get away. He thinks every woman wants him because of his status as a star quarterback. Chad has led a very sheltered life. Until he saw Carla on the plane, he had never seen a woman out in public with no makeup.
So far, no tangible SciFi. Just two young public figures trying to lead non-public lives.
But keep reading. The SciFi sneaks up on you. In the meantime, one of Carla’s enemies has hired a hitman to deal with this writer that has exposed secrets. The reader is introduced to this antagonist early in the book and despite the fact that you know who he is, the suspense never ebbs as he hunts down his prey.
Another element of suspense is in the possible romance. Will Carla and Chad get together or not?
While Carla and Chad are playing Will They or Won’t They, someone who resembles Carla is murdered. This brings the FBI into the story.
Eventually, all the elements of the story will come together: the possible romance, the killer hunting for Carla and the mystery of how Carla can write such painfully accurate fiction. And when I say ‘eventually’, I mean ‘soon’. Public Secrets is a short book, so it won’t take you long to get to payoff.
As for the SciFi, I think the title of the series, Artificial Intelligence, is the obvious clue. It does sneak up on you, but there is a sudden pounce at the end! But I’m not going to say more about that. You really need to read Public Secrets.
I debated about posting this recommendation on Smart Girls Love SciFi Romance. I did not get the romantic HEA I was expecting. But it is book one in a series that I suspect will place it in the SciFi Romance genre. Besides, I got my copy of this book from Ms. O’Connor by providing the most correct answers (guesses) at a Facebook party for The SciFi Romance group. And yes, free book, but my opinion here is unbiased.
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