Monday, February 27, 2012

Lovesick by Spencer Seidel {Blog Tour} ~ Guest Post & Review

Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Publication Date: 21st June 2012
Pages: 376
Book Source: BookTrib Blog Tour

Synopsis: “‘He’s got a knife!’ Jimmy said after seeing the glint of a blade in the kid’s hand. Jimmy brought his gun up and squared it at the kid.”

A murder rocks Portland, Maine after police discover an incoherent teen sitting in a pool of blood late one night. Paul Ducharme is found with a murder weapon in one hand, the dead body of his best friend in the other, and no clue how he got to the Eastern Promenade Trail. 

My Thoughts:
Many of my readers know that I'm a fan of suspense thrillers but over the years I've become quite selective and I don't often venture into new author ground. I'm a little conflicted about Lovesick; whilst I enjoyed the plot the execution didn't really grab me, ... the storyline itself kept me turning the pages but the writing felt unpolished. 

The plot was engrossing in a morbidly fascinating way. When forensic psychologist Lisa Boyers is called in to assess Paul Ducharme, accused of the murder of his best friend Lee, a can of worms is opened for Lisa and secrets are slowly doled out to the reader. As Paul shares his memories and recollection of events leading up to the murder, we get to know the dysfunctional, flawed teenage trio of Paul, Lee and Lee's girlfriend Wendy. 

By now, Paul was beginning to understand that Wendy and Lee were like two volatile chemicals that, when combined, produced a violent explosion, leaving behind a toxic mess that made the likelihood of another blowout even greater. 

I liked the subplot surrounding Lisa's past, a separate story to the murder but Seidel ties the two together plausibly; attempting to help Paul regain his memory forces Lisa to acknowledge her own troubled past. 

It was relatively easy to see where the story was headed and I figured out the 'baddie' early on (despite this apparently being an open and shut case) but I'm happy to say I was compelled to read on to learn the how. The graphic violence and language wasn't gratuitous and I was impressed with the awareness Seidel brings to all manner of abusive relationships. 

All up a satisfactory psychological crime thriller.  

Read on to experience Spencer Seidel's interesting & amusing guest post!

The Terrifying World of a Writer
By Spencer Seidel

Ask anyone who knows me, and they'll tell you that I can be overly scheduled, neurotic, a tad eccentric . . . Well, I won't go on. You get the picture. Let's just say that sometimes I'm not real good with going with the flow.

Show me a writer who isn't a little strange, and I'll show you a mediocre writer. Writers throughout history have been weird. Hemingway was weird. Same goes for F. Scott Fitzgerald. Do I even have to mention Truman Capote?

I think there's a simple reason for this.

For those of you who don't write, let me describe the concept with an analogy. Suppose you woke up one day with a sense of smell as keen as a bloodhound. Can you imagine how awful that would be? You'd smell everything vividly. Every cleaning product on every surface, your own BO, or worse, everyone else's BO. And I won't even mention that cat box or God forbid, the old cat herself. And that's just the beginning. What about the garbage, the laundry hamper, or the week-old milk in the fridge? Even sex would be a challenge. You'd go mental.

But there's a flip side. Imagine how wonderful freshly baked cinnamon rolls would smell. Or bacon in the morning. No wonder dogs are always begging around for food or dying to get outside. The complex and sometimes overwhelming smells must drive them nuts.

Being a writer is a lot like that, except instead of smells, it's motivations, emotion, and possibilities. When I get into the car to drive to work every morning, it isn't hard for me to make my writer voice say things like, "His last day on earth began just like any other." Yikes! Even on that short drive to my day job, I'm always seeing possibilities. Things that could happen, little things that change lives forever, events that books are made of, like a dropped cellphone on the passenger-side floor that makes someone stray into oncoming traffic, or a blown tire. The more complex the situation, the worse this effect gets. I think this can make writers a little crazy and regimented in their ways as they seek to control their environments.

But, like with our newly found bloodhound senses, there is a flip side. Although some can be extremely introverted, writers are very good at sniffing out people's angles and motivations. I contend that this makes writers very difficult to lie to. Think your writer spouse could never find out that you're having an affair? I'll bet she already knows. Or suspects, anyway. We can be hypersensitive and detect subtle verbal clues and facial expressions people aren't even aware they're using. We do that because that's in part what makes good characterization. That's a powerful thing.

People are always telling me I would have made a great psychologist. I'll bet that's true of most writers. That's because you really need to understand people at a gut level to make believable characters.

That also gets a little hairy. You can't just think about all the good things people do, although there is plenty of that around, despite what you hear on the news. Sometimes you have to live inside the head of a killer or rapist or worse, trying to understand how a character like that would think. It can be frightening.

I mean, what if I find out I sort of like it in there? Damn, there I go again.

Here's an Excerpt from Lovesick to whet your appetite:

He left his phone number and hung up.
Lisa wrote the number down and hung up the phone after deleting the messages. Rudy Swaner? She hadn’t thought about Rudy in years. If she had ever dared to defy Dorian, she might have found herself in the arms of Rudy Swaner. That hadn’t ever happened, but they’d shared their moments. The coincidence unnerved her. She’d just been thinking about Dorian. The last she’d heard of Rudy was ten years ago. Something like that, anyway. He was a cop going to law school at night at USM, where she taught now.
A news item caught her eye in the living room, and she turned her attention towards the flat-screen TV she kept in the corner next to the non-functioning fireplace, towards a graphic of a kid that had popped up to the right of the anchorwoman’s head. 

Follow the blog hunt tomorrow at Lisa Reviews or head over to BookTrib for a full list of blogs participating in the Lovesick Scavenger Hunt. 


  1. Great reviews!! And I too have a hard time trying new suspense novels!

    1. Julie, I used to read anything and everything but now I like my old favourites that never disappoint :)
      There are plenty of others who loved this one!

  2. Excellent review of this one and I like how you keep it very balanced and fair!!

    1. thanks Staci, this one was definitely a mix of good and not so good but please check out some of the reviews of those who loved it :)

  3. The guest post was fun - too bad the book wasn't better! I like thrillers too and have so many favorites authors in the genre that I don't try to authors often enough.


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