I had high hopes for Lawless by Jenna Rae. The premise of the story is really intriguing. The blurb of the book also grabbed my interest right away, so I was looking forward to reading this novel. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with the actual story.
The novel is listed as a mystery and tells the story of an undercover agent (Kate Hollister) who is embedded in the small town of Lawless to watch and report back to her handler anything she sees involving illegal drugs or other activities. She is supposed to connect with the girlfriend (and her best friend) of the alleged drug runner Stoney, infiltrating with the group if she can. This part of the story is not bad, and there are parts of the tale that are well written, and kept me reading.
Here are the things that are disappointing. The characters themselves, both main and secondary lack depth, and I never really connected with any of them. The investigation seems off somehow, since Kate has no backup from her handler at all. That seems very unrealistic to me. The worst though, are the unanswered questions I am left with at the end of the book, and there are a lot of them. I realize that in real life the agent might be left with some things unresolved at the end of the investigation, but I’m not even sure exactly what specific illegal activities Kate uncovers. The author doesn’t give the reader all the facts that Kate herself has, just vague hints and generalities. I think that bothers me most of all.
I don’t think I can recommend this particular book, but I know the author is a very capable writer with at least five other novels, and I will look for other works by her in the future.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bella Books for an honest review.