Review #6: Dead Weight (Lizzy Gardner Series #2) by T.R. Ragan

Again… what is with the covers of T.R. Ragan’s books?? These are both awful, just like the first ones! I don’t think I’m not a particularly particular cover-person… but Ragan clearly needs a new cover artist.

Anyways, I’m not here to nitpick cover art (too late!). Okay, so Dead Weight, is the second in the Lizzy Gardner series. This book takes place a few months after Lizzy, her FBI boyfriend, and her two assistants (college student Jessica [I think] and damaged high schooler Hayley), thwarted the evil serial killer, Spiderman. This time around Lizzy is dealing with two more typical P.I. cases. The first involves a cold missing person’s case, of a teenage girl who ran away from home and then just disappeared. The second (and the main plot of the book) is another missing person’s case. This time, the missing person is a morbidly obese woman who recently became obsessed with a celebrity fitness guru. Her sister hires Lizzy, convinced guru is responsible for her sister’s disappearance.

The most interesting part of the book is when we follow a friend of the obese women, who manages to get herself kidnapped too, and locked in a crazy fitness cabin. This is pretty weird and unique, but didn’t really pay off. The tertiary plotline involves Hayley, who appears to be losing her mind as she seeks revenge on all the abusive men in her life. It’s pretty bizarre characterization, since I think I was supposed to root for her, but I was more sickened by her actions. This story had somewhat of a drastic tonal shift than the first one. In Abducted, Lizzy and her friends are in constant danger from Spiderman and there is a genuine threat. In Dead Weight, the focus is off of Lizzy and more in the mysteries, which in the end turned out to be a bit boring with no real pressure or consequence to them. I didn’t care for either of the missing women, nor the family members who sought them, so why would I care about the outcomes? I would sum this book up as a fairly standard mystery-thriller, with somewhat boring and unlikable characters, inconsistent plotting, and lack of suspense or urgency. Not my favorite.

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