Tuesday, April 17, 2012

REVIEW: Getaway by Lisa Brackmann


Michelle Mason tells herself she’s on vacation. A brief stay in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta. It’s a chance to figure out her next move after the unexpected death of her banker husband, who’s left behind a scandal and a pile of debt. The trip was already paid for, and it beats crashing in her sister’s spare room. When a good-looking man named Daniel approaches her on the beach, the margaritas have kicked in and she decides: why not?

But the date doesn’t go as either of them planned. An assault on Daniel in her hotel room, switched cell phones and an encounter with a “friend” of Daniel’s named Gary gets Michelle enmeshed in a covert operation involving drug runners, goons, and venture capitalists. Michelle already knows she’s caught in a dangerous trap. But she quickly finds that running is not an option. If she’s not careful, she’ll end up buried in the town dump, with the rest of the trash. Now she needs to fight smart if she wants to survive her vacation.

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 1st 2012 by Soho Press
ISBN 1616950714 (ISBN13: 9781616950712)

About the Author
from the author's website

Lisa Brackmann has worked as an executive at a major motion picture studio, an issues researcher in a presidential campaign, and was the singer/songwriter/bassist in an LA rock band. She still takes pride in her karaoke-ready repertoire of bad pop hits and an embarrassing number of show tunes. Her debut novel, ROCK PAPER TIGER, set on the fringes of the Chinese art world, made several “Best of 2010″ lists, including Amazon’s Top 100 Novels and Top 10 Mystery/Thrillers, and was nominated for the Strand Magazine Critics Award for Best First Novel. A San Diego native, she lives in Venice CA.

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My Thoughts
Michelle dropped the sarong she'd started to tie around her waist onto her lounge chair. Nobody cared what her thighs looked like.


Most of this story takes place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Photo of street in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, taken November 2005 by User:Stan Shebs

Michelle Mason is at a crossroads in her life after the recent death of her husband. In order to recuperate and gain some perspective, she takes a trip to Puerto Vallarta where she soon meets local American Danny and finds herself caught amidst a mystery fraught with danger.

This was an enjoyable story, but something about it fell a little flat. I think it was the character development. This is one of those suspenseful stories that keeps you guessing, and you really have no idea who to trust. Unfortunately this leads to characters that aren't very well developed, in order to assure that you don't really know who they are or whether they can be trusted. This created characters that I found mostly one-dimensional.

And there were moments that were alluded to, but never revealed further, leaving me wondering what was happening behind scenes. Or a minor detail that seemed a focus of attention which I thought would lead to something, but it never did, so I would be left wondering why such focus was put on that little detail? Was it purposeful, to throw me off?

This was very easy to read without bogging down the story with overly descriptive text. However in the first 100 pages there were too many slow moments, which would lead to me losing focus.

My final word: While many of the ancillary characters orbiting around the central storyline seemed a little flat and one-dimensional, I enjoyed the guessing game of "what next?" with this story. I never really connected with Michelle, I wanted Danny to have more charisma, and some characters had so little impact that I almost wondered why they were included at all. Too many storylines were left open-ended, so I was left with too many questions after it was all over. Overall this was a good "light" read that will keep you guessing, even after the story is over.

Cover: 7.5/10
Writing Style: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Storyline/Plot: 8/10
Interest/Uniqueness: 7.5/10

My Rating: 8 out of 10

Getaway is expected to be released May 1st.


I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof.

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