Before Sunrise
by Diana Palmer, contemporary (2006)
HQN, $6.99, ISBN 0-373-77120-7


I have not read the related book After Midnight - and please don't tell me I should because I will just assume that you want to see me collapse from a burst blood vessel - so I don't know whether that book suffers from a gazillion braindead moments like this gruesome display of Thalidomydian tragedy of a book. Let's take a pop quiz, shall we?

1. Do you think it's acceptable for a "studious heroine" (yes, one of those embarrassments to nerd girls everywhere) to ask a man to go home with him so that she can study him for her anthropology research? And no, she's not trying to pick the man up. I wish she is, I honestly do.

2. Do you think it is okay for the hero to treat the heroine like crap because he has his own personal issues that he is too stupid to deal with and too proud to see a shrink for help?

3. Do you think it's reasonable that a heroine in danger will sneak away from her bodyguard?

4. To go home and prune her roses? Yes, to prune her roses. You read that right. Oh, and did I mention that it was November at that time of the year in this story?

5. Can you overlook the fact that Ms Palmer obviously has no real idea what an actual FBI agent does and has our FBI agent hero, Jeremiah Cortez, without regard putting our heroine and other people in danger in his mission to investigate a dead guy in a Chenocetah reservation?

6. Are you okay with a heroine who insists on living in the most isolated house possible, alone and with no obvious means of defending herself, even when she's been shot?

7. Are you okay with the hero being a Native American so he can behave like a complete ass because this book is all about Oh Those Poor Native Americans?

If you say yes to any of the above, go knock yourself out with Before Sunrise but don't say that I didn't warn you, you courageous fellow you.

On the plus side, there's a mystery involving a Neanderthal body in this book, which, in light of the story and Jeremiah Cortez's duncecap personality, is just too amusing for words. Do you suppose that Ms Palmer is in on the joke? If she cheerfully goes ahead and says that proceeds of the sales of the book will go to the Cassie Edwards Save The Poor Injuns Fund, this book would be a keeper. Alas, while this book could be a hysterically funny classic gem of a bad book to laugh at, I don't think I should tell anyone to pay money for this book. Diana Palmer may get more ideas and has the heroine of her next book doing something even more stupid like squeezing herself into a narrow freezer to avoid a killer while the back door is wide open and the police station is only two minutes away. Let's not encourage her anymore, people.

Rating: 16


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