Tuesday, April 25, 2006

April TBR Challenge: Linda Castillo's Depth Perception

Title: Depth Perception
Author: Linda Castillo
Year Published: 2005

Why did you get this book? I added this one to my TBR list after reading its blurb in a (February 2005) Writerspace.com email newsletter.

Do you like the cover? It’s nice enough. But I do think the story would have been better served by a darker image, suggestive of the evil and desolation present in its characters. As is, the image of this woman—complete with purse and low-heeled pumps—does nothing to clue readers in to her peril or her emotional devastation.

Did you enjoy the book? Enjoy is not the appropriate word to describe this reading experience. Depth Perception is a very good read. The writing is strong, characterization deep and consistent, the story compelling. I would recommend it to my reading friends.

However, very little in this book is pretty. Both hero and heroine have suffered the deaths of their children—she through the brutal murder of her 7-year old son and her husband, he through the apparent accidental drowning of his toddler boy. As a parent, this subject matter is usually off limits for me. I have neither the stomach nor the nerve to read (or watch) the stuff of my worst nightmare.

The blurb gives away his loss and I’m not sure why I dismissed it as benign. Maybe I thought since it was presented in the past tense, his son’s death would figure less in the story than it ultimately did. Her own loss—and grief twisted with a bit of the paranormal—were well masked and, had I known upfront, I most likely would have passed on this book.

As a result of their experiences, both hero and heroine are hard to watch. Their wounds are still open. Both remain in a weakened state of mind. Neither appears ready to touch or be touched—emotionally or physically—by another person. Castillo wastes no time in sharing this state of affairs with the reader. And it is precisely this challenge, this hopelessness that kept me turning pages.

Castillo’s secondary characters are difficult to stomach as well. It is near impossible to know who to trust and most—good and bad—behave menacingly toward the hero and heroine. There are no safe havens in this book—not even in our hero’s arms—and Castillo does a fine job of making the reader feel equally frightened and lost. Testament to her writing and storytelling abilities. And the reason I would recommend her to other readers.

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? Yes, this was my first Castillo book. And yes, I plan to read some of her other titles, starting with The Shadow Side.

Are you keeping it or passing it on? Passing it on. I don’t keep books. Generally.

Anything else? Only one concern, a minor dent in credibility. When I went to Castillo’s website to grab an image of the book cover for this blog, I noticed a quote from Harriet Klausner on the homepage.


  1. I was very impressed by Depth Perception. It was hard to read, but definitely worth the emotional turmoil.

  2. Please find me one book that doesn't have Harriet as a reviewer! It seems she has read every book that has ever been written.

  3. This sounds like one of those books that I will have to read when I have the time and inclination for a deep affecting story.

    IS it possible that Castillo really doesn't know about Harriet Klausner and just thought the review was great? (well, of course it was - she never read a book she didn't like, but....)

  4. Rosario - Emotional turmoil is an excellent description for what Castillo puts reader through in this one. And I agree, it is worth it.

    Congrats on your plans for Japan, BTW.

    Anon - Precisely. Totally lacks credibility.

    Lori - Castillo's site lacks the professional polish I've seen in other authors' sites. Could be she and her PR folks have not yet recognized the power of this medium for promotion. Makes me ITCH to offer to make it better myself. *g*

  5. I've got Dead Reckoning on my shelf right now from this author. It will be my first book from her. Can't wait to see what it's like.

  6. I love Linda Castillo and have read all her books. Anne you will love Dead Reckoning. All linda's heros are imperfect, I think that's what I like about them!


Have you read it? What do you think?

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