Ida Kay Productions (2008)
Reviewed by Nicole Bonia for Reader Views (9/08)
In “Uncharted Depths,” Trisha Reilly has returned to the small town where she was raised by the parents of her friends Jennifer and Braden after her family dies in a fire. Ostensibly, Trisha has come back to bury her aunt and then return to the life that she as built for herself as a private investigator; but while she’s in town Jennifer hires her to investigate mysterious letters that her brother Braden has been receiving. Braden is an ex-convict who fell in with a rich crowd and was accused of the murder of his lover’s wealthy husband, has been convicted and has already served the time. Braden says that he doesn’t want anyone snooping around in his past, but Trisha will stop at nothing to help a friend and the only man that she has ever loved.
Taylor Nash has a strong sense of story and she writes a compelling and suspenseful one. Her story is strongly plotted and supported by a relatable and sympathetic main character. Because I was able to connect with Trisha, and wanted to know how her story ends, I turned the pages to find out what was going to happen next. All of the elements of a successful suspenseful romance novel are present in this book: the mysterious ex-love with the shady past, the wholesome heroine with a heart of gold, their brief love affair that ended abruptly and left hurt feelings and misunderstandings, but there are several elements that have been overlooked or that the reader must look through for this to truly be a good book.
Trisha Reilly is a wonderful character; easily Nash’s best. She is warm and compassionate, she has a sense of humor, and you can tell that she has worked hard on herself to overcome what could have been obstacles and limitations and created a vibrant life and career. She still has doubts and issues she is working on, and I loved to see her confront those things throughout the novel. Nash is also very adept at writing the characters in action. The prose flows freely and it is very easy to see the action as the characters are talking and to understand their physical placement and environment.
My biggest complaints with the novel are the lack of description of the characters, the lack of development for the secondary characters, and some key elements going unexplained. I felt that I knew their types and had an idea of who they were, but I never had a real picture of any of the characters, including Trisha. They were tall, with hair or without hair, they were thin or fat; but I didn’t feel that I had enough to see what they looked like- what would distinguish them from others with similar physical characteristics. To some extent all the characters in the novel fit a type, but in the case of Trisha, she was so human and fleshed out that it was easy to see past that. Not so much with the others.
There are pieces that could have been more carefully worked into the plot. Braden nicknames Trisha “Rosie,” which she says she has outgrown, but I’m never sure why he called her that in the first place. Also when Braden explains some things from his childhood about three quarters of the way through the book, they are totally new characters- never mentioned again before or after, and it relates to such big events that it’s hard to believe that he reader never would have heard of them. After following Trisha for most of the book, the narrative suddenly switches to Braden’s point of view, and I found it to be distracting as was the use of “ya” instead of you throughout the book; though oddly, neither Trisha nor Braden use it and I would assume they are the same place as everyone else.
Overall I liked the premise of the story, loved the main character and I wanted to see what happened. Braden and Trisha had the undeniable chemistry of their push-pull relationship throughout, which was interesting to watch even though I didn’t care for Braden for most of the book. Nash has a lot of wonderful action description but as a reader I wanted fuller secondary characters. “Uncharted Depths” by Taylor Nash had so many elements that I enjoyed, so I would love to see where she goes the next time.