Book Reviews

Book Review: Traces of Kara by Melissa Foster

I first became acquainted with Melissa Foster‘s writing when I won a copy of her book, Chasing Amanda. I read that book and loved it, so when the opportunity came to read Traces of Kara and review it, I grabbed it!

Here’s the official book blurb from Amazon (I would have written my own, but I didn’t want to give away too much of the story):

Kara Knight can’t wait to leave her hometown for the promise of nursing school and a fresh start on her future–leaving behind an over protective mother, a broken heart and painful memories. However, twenty-five miles away, the twin she doesn’t know exists is determined to be reunited with the sister he cannot forget.

Kara is abducted and thrown into her obsessive captor’s delusional world. As the past she thought she knew unravels around her, Kara struggles to make sense of the memories that come creeping back, threatening her sanity and her safety. Meanwhile, Kara’s mother races against time to save the daughter she fears she will lose when a long-held secret is revealed. The hours tick away as her captor plays out his plan–to take Kara with him into death at the exact moment of their birth, never to be separated again.

TRACES OF KARA is an action packed, pulse pounding psychological thriller/suspense novel that features a determined killer who slowly loses his grip on reality as his carefully detailed plan starts to fall apart and a heroine determined to move forward with her life who now must reconcile everything she believed to be true about her family with the reality of their tragic past.

Final verdict, according to this one reviewer?

I had trouble putting this one down. I wanted to just lose myself in the story for hours – or at least for however long it took me to finish the book. But, being the mother of two small children, that’s just not always possible. Life beckons, and it doesn’t care that you’re lost in a good book.

Even when I had to put this down for short periods of time (I never wanted to be away from it for long), I found myself still thinking about it and wondering what was going to happen next. Melissa’s writing just has a way of doing that to a person. It was one of the things I liked so much about Chasing Amanda.


All glowing tributes aside, I didn’t quite enjoy this book as much as I did the above mentioned novel, and here are a few reasons why.

1) The action is fast-paced, but it might have been a little too fast-paced for me. I found myself getting lost sometimes and having to go back and reread some things just to get clear on them.

2) The scene changes weren’t all exactly chronological. Sometimes, when a scene changed, you would actually go slightly back in time, which made me wonder how far back in time the action was taking place…Or maybe I was just over-thinking it.

3) All things considered, this was a really violent little book, and I’m not a big fan of violence. I mean, I understood that it was necessary within the context of the book. It’s just not really my “cup of tea”, and I found myself wishing that there wasn’t so much of it. Chasing Amanda, by contrast, was a much sweeter, tamer book…Well, in a sense, anyway.

4) At least one of the plot points felt unresolved. Did Marissa’s dad leave because he wanted to escape her mom, or did he leave to be there for Roland and protect Marissa? I don’t suppose it’s all that important, but both possibilities came up within the course of the story, so it’s one of those things that nagged at me (and still does).

All in all, though, this is another great book from someone who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. It reads a lot like the screenplay for a Lifetime movie would. If you like Lifetime movies (I happen to be one of those people who do) and don’t mind a little added violence, you’ll love this book. Why not give it a try?

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