Barbara's Reviews > Getaway

Getaway by Lisa Brackmann
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's review
Jan 31, 2012

really liked it

Lisa Brackmann has chosen a well known, but unusual, vacation area to set her mystery: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Her protagonist, Michelle, is a bit unlikely too, a newly widowed, rather spoiled and shallow woman from Los Angeles. She is broke and deeply in debt, yet spends money she doesn't have on this trip to Mexico. Sounds ludicrous, when you say it this way, but Brackmann makes it plausable with her excellent story-telling.

Michelle is in Vallarta (as it is called through most of the book),when she meets an attractive and interesting man on the beach, Daniel. He invites Michele to go to a restaurant with him and while they are eating, a friend of his approaches them. Daniel seems uncomfortable with the fellow, and Michelle thinks no more about it. Daniel walks her to her room and after a bit of a false start, they both drop off to sleep only to be awakened by two masked men entering her room from the balcony. Daniel is attacked with a gun butt, and Michelle narrowly avoids being raped.

After that, it seems that Michelle and Daniel run into each other, or Michelle runs into his friends without intention or plan. She also meets one of his friends, Gary, who approaches her and asks her to keep an eye on Daniel and report back to him. When she refuses, he threatens her. He also sweetens the pie with an offer to pay off her maxed out credit cards and gives her $5000 in cash. Against her better judgment, Michelle follows Gary’s orders.

The plot moves along quickly and solidly and is wonderful escapism story-telling. The characters are believable and just mysterious enough to keep both Michelle and the reader guessing. Ms Brackmann feeds out the plot and the character’s identities at the right pace. The final chapter is vague enough to allow the main characters to return, and it will be interesting to see if the author brings them back in another situation, and if so, where will it be? Vallarta is just the right background for a great mystery story!
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