Catch and Release by J.T. Twerell

Catch and Release
J.T. Twerell
Living Word Publications (2011)
ISBN 9780615556857
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (12/11)


What do you get when two completely different worlds collide? In the case of “Catch and Release” the appropriate answer would be an interesting combo of romance, passion, crime, and adventure, to name just a few things.

Jennifer Blade’s life has been anything but dull, and she’s only in her early thirties. She has been orphaned at a very young age, losing both of her parents a few years apart to violence; she ended up in a very violent world herself. But all is not even remotely what it seems, and she’s trying to make things right. But even the best plans can – and will go wrong, and her world is thrown into serious tumult. Steve Sanders’ life has been a bit more predictable, and possibly quite a lot easier. As a practicing psychologist he certainly sees his share of not so easy patients, but overall his life tends to be on a pretty even keel -until he decides to take a short fishing vacation, and meets Jennifer Blade, the woman who will rock his world in more ways that one. What follows is a mad and dangerous ride, replete with violence, death, passion and quite possibly even love, leading to a rather surprising ending.

Mr. Twerell’s “Catch and Release” left me utterly confused. On one hand I absolutely loved the twists and turns in the story, which never ceased to amaze me. The author’s imagination is truly wild and wonderful, and his insights into the human mind decidedly reflect his other career, that of a practicing psychotherapist, which makes them extraordinarily deep and involving. I decidedly enjoyed that side of the narrative, as well as the wonderfully quirky humor of Dr. Sanders, one of the two main characters in the book. On the other hand I had a very hard time handling Ms. Blade’s character, even knowing her backstory from the very beginning. All that violence and ugliness got to me pretty quickly, and I was left wondering if I would have enjoyed the story more if that were tempered down some, for instance the Prologue itself, as well as some of the more violent scenes later. Yes, I know life is real and ugly, but I do not necessarily want to read about that. This statement simply reflects a personal preference and is in no manner, shape or form meant as a reflection on the author’s capability to deliver a good story.

Another issue which bothered me a fair bit was the quality of sentences in Spanish and French, found in a couple of spots in the narrative. When I showed the very fist sentence in the book to two of my Spanish speaking friends, both of their responses were, “Huh?” We finally managed to figure the Spanish sentences out, and the couple of the French ones were clear from the context, but completely erroneous as well. I could have forgiven the one spoken by Steve Sanders, but the Air France agent’s response had no reason to be completely wrong. If such sentences are used to provide “flavor’ for the story, I believe it would lend more credibility to the author if he had them professionally translated.  Machine translations simply do not work.

I would recommend “Catch and Release” to those readers who enjoy pretty hard-core suspense books and who do not object to explicit content and language. It is a well written and intelligent book, just not one I personally enjoyed very much.

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