Almost Home by Pam Jenoff
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 290 (Ereader)
Product Description From Amazon:
Ten years ago, American Jordan Weiss's idyllic experience as a graduate student and coxswain at Cambridge was shattered when her boyfriend and fellow crewmember, Jared Short, drowned in the River Cam the night before the biggest race of the year. Since that time, Jordan, a State Department intelligence officer, has traveled the world on dangerous assignments but has managed to avoid returning to face her painful memories in England. When her terminally ill friend Sarah asks her to come to London, though, Jordan finds herself requesting a transfer to the one place she swore she'd never go again.
In London, Jordan attempts to settle into her new life, pushing aside her haunting memories and taking on an urgent mission beside rakish agent Sebastian Hodges. Shortly after her arrival, just when she thinks there's hope for a fresh start in England, she is approached by a former college classmate who makes a startling assertion. He tells her that Jared's death was not an accident, but that he was murdered.
Jordan quickly learns that Jared's death was indeed not an accident, and that his research on World War II had uncovered a shameful secret. But powerful forces with everything to lose will stop at nothing to keep the past buried. Soon, Jordan finds herself in grave peril as she struggles to find the answers that lie treacherously close to home, the truth that threatens to change her life forever, and the love that makes it all worth fighting for.
Jordan Weiss is a State Department intelligence officer who has traveled the world on top secret missions. After receiving a letter from her friend Sarah, who suffers from ALS, Jordan must return to London, the one place she vowed never to set foot again. Once there, her world is turned upside down as lingering doubts concerning the disaster that occurred 10 years previously comes back to haunt her. She can no longer rest until she discovers what really happened. Meanwhile, her assignment at London's State Department turns out to be more dangerous than expected, and she works with fellow agents Sebastian and Sophie to take down the mob. Many twists and turns later, the story unravels and the mystery is solved.
This book had some good parts, which made reading it bearable, but the look on my face as I was reading is the same as the face above. I have previously stated (though I'm not sure to whom) that the most important part of a book, is the character development and that is where this book goes horribly wrong. Jordan is supposed to be a State Department intelligence officer who has been on many dangerous missions and who is supposed to be sought after by others around the world. Nothing in this novel supports that characterization. In fact, Jordan seems lost, wishy-washy (is that a word), confused, naive, and unskilled. In addition, there were too many things going on in the book. None of the events in the book seem to fit together and I found myself skeptical the entire time.
On a positive note, the descriptions of Cambridge and various other locales were vivid and well-written. I thoroughly enjoyed the last twenty pages of the book and found myself sitting on the edge of my seat. This, however, was not enough to compensate for the rest of the book. There is a sequel called A Hidden Affair by Pam Jenoff. I am reluctant to read it, but the end of this book really has me curious to see what happens.
Should I take a chance and read the sequel? Or should I learn from this first book and cut my losses? I really want to know what happens, but I don't know if I can handle another book like this one. Maybe the sequel will pick up where the last 20 pages left off and actually be really good or maybe it will be more of the same. Any advice? What should I do?