” ‘It’s crazy how we always think we have time to tell people we know just how we feel, and then they can be gone in a heartbeat and we missed our chance.’ “
We’ve all heard of Chekov’s gun, yeah? If there’s a gun in the first act, it better go off in the third act. Some authors approach this tactic with a heavy hand, knocking you out with obvious hints toward what will happen later in the book. Others seem to remember the third act but forget to actually put the gun somewhere in the first act. Mommy, May I?, a thriller from A.K. Alexander, is the latter type, a book in desperate need to Chekov’s gun, his knife, his hat, and his left shoe.
I actually quite enjoyed some of the premise behind Mommy, May I?. The antagonist starts out as a very interesting study, as we learn about him through his troubled and unusual story. It’s a solid background tale with a lot of potential, though I felt it unraveled into stereotype later on. While we learn about Richard, we also get the story of Helena Shea, a former model trying to turn her life around, give back to society, and reconnect with the daughter she had in the midst of a rocky scandal. Clearly, these two unlikely paths were bound to cross, and my attention was piqued and eager to see how they would come together. In the end, it wound up being more of a messy collision than the fine interwoven mesh I was hoping for. The pieces fit together, sure, but it was more like how you can fit a square peg into a circular hole if you jam it in hard enough. I like a finely crafted mystery, and the solutions in this one had none of the finesse I usually enjoy. In addition, I felt that there were threads of stories that weren’t really necessary, providing more of a distraction than anything else, such as the tabloid reporter with a hand in Helena’s troubles. It’s also not a good sign when the author herself has to remind you on several occasions who a character is with an epithet. I’m pretty sure 75% of the time we encounter Patrick, Helena’s lawyer, he’s described as “Patrick, Helena’s lawyer.”
Solid premise, some interesting characters, but as with so many of these books, it winds up severely lacking in the end.
Books read: 012/100.