Monthly Mini Review
The Marine Next Door by Julie Miller – C (Trigger warning: rape) I bought this one when it was on special recently for 99c. I love the rescue trope, even though it is becoming increasingly hard for me to find books which give me the payoff I’m after. Maggie Wheeler is a Sergeant for the Kansas City PD and has recently qualified to apply for her detective shield. She’s a single mother, with a 10 year old son, Travis. Former marine and now arson investigator Captain John Murdock moves in next door to her and her son. Maggie’s ex-husband, Danny, has recently been released from prison for his brutal rape of Maggie a decade before (do the math) and she is nervous of meeting new men. Even so, Travis quickly bonds with John and Maggie finds herself attracted for the first time since her attack. The romance moved super fast – this stretched my credulity to breaking point particularly given that Maggie hasn’t had sex with anyone since she was raped for a weekend by her violent (now ex-) husband. That she had no hang ups about getting intimate with someone after so long, except for a fear she wouldn’t be very good at it, seemed unrealistic. For a mother as protective of her son as Maggie is, the thought that she’d be prepared to move in with John after mere days of being in a relationship was also a bit much (I’m practicing the art of understatement here).
I don’t know how police forces work in the US but I thought that all police officers had to do their time in the field. Maggie is presented as “desk sergeant” and my impression was that she had not spent any time in the field. I thought all police officers questioned witnesses, secured crime scenes and assisted detectives. When Maggie is asked to be on the task force investigating the Red Rose Rapist, she reacts like this is a first. Maybe I have the way things work in the states wrong but it felt a bit out of place to me.