Cathy's Reviews > Dark Paradise

Dark Paradise by Tami Hoag
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's review
Sep 28, 2011

liked it

Written in 1994, this is a novel of culture clash and murder.
J. D. Rafferty is a 4th generation rancher in Montana contending with the influx of Hollywood types and movers/shakers. Land prices are rising exponentially and so are property taxes. J.D.'s irresponsible half-brother, Will, isn't helping the ranch by nightly drunkenness, trysts with bimbos (while his wife languishes alone), and gambling (and losing).
Enter Marilee Jennings fresh from a breakup and looking to unwind with her friend who has recently come into a windfall and moved to Montana. But her friend is dead, shot and left for dead on the mountain. A prominent doctor has confessed to the "accidental" shooting and has returned to California.
Marilee, who doesn't know how her friend got all the money and just inherited the money, the ranch, the llamas, and the cars, begins to suspect that her death wasn't accidental. Attacks on Marilee and another death convince her that something else is going on.
This was a good story and well-told. However, it could have been tightened up and shortened by about 100 pages and accomplished the author's intent. While it was written in 1994 there is no mention of condom use (a pet peeve of mine) even when virtual strangers are having sex. Nor is there talk about birth control. I find this irresponsible. I sincerely hope Hoag has made changes along these lines in recent novels. I can't remember.

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