Friday, March 16, 2012

Net Switch by Denise Baer review by Jeffrey Poole

In the dead of winter, Sydney Hayes finds herself in an internet chat room in hopes of expelling her loneliness. Enchanted by a stranger, she soon finds herself caught up in an affair that spills over into her everyday life. Within a short period of time, the stranger captures her mind, her body and eventually her heart, but excitement turns to terror and Sydney must abandon the life she built in Chicago and assume a new identity.

A fragile woman in a new city, Sydney tries to put it all behind her as she makes a fresh start in Seattle, but her troubles follow her and she is running out of time. Feeling as though she has no other choice, Sydney is determined to destroy him before he destroys her—unaware that her journal holds the key.

Will she discover the secret before it’s too late?

4 stars

Makes you think twice about online dating... 

Net Switch is a dark, psychological thriller which picks right up from the start and doesn't really let you go until the end. There is romance, drama, and intense moments of sheer terror all bundled neatly into a journal-esque form throughout the entire book. 

The story follows the (unfortunate) exploits of Sydney, a lonely forty-something woman who desperately yearns for some acceptance and love in her life. She meets someone online and starts a relationship, only to have it go horribly wrong. Attempting to rebuild her life, she changes her identity and moves to another state. But as luck would have it, her problems continue to plague her. 

Let me start off by saying I enjoy the Author's writing style. Even though the story was just a compilation of journal entries, the story (& terror) she conveyed seemed real, plausible, and it easily kept me turning the page (or swiping my finger: iPad!), eager for more! My critique list has a few entries. First off, I have no problems with the story being comprised entirely of journal entries. I've personally never read an entire book like that, but it didn't detract from the story at all. In fact, I think it worked in the Author's favor and further helped ensnare the reader. Trust me, it worked! :) 

What I didn't like, and found incredibly distracting, was the dates of the journal not being in chronological order. Yes, I realize we were meant to learn about another period in he protagonist's life, but the problem was the date jumping wasn't consistent, 2008, then 1984, then back to 2008, 1989, 2008, 2006, 1992, etc. It really made it hard to follow along with the thread of the story. I was constantly flipping back to the previous entry to try and figure out the relevancy of the entry. 

I loved the twists and surprises at the end, and I certainly won't give away any spoilers, but it was a little hard to comprehend all of the subtle twists that were thrown in. Was I reading about him or her? Did that really happen or not? Bottom line... If you enjoy a good psychological story which makes you think, then check this one out! It's worth the read!

Jeffrey Poole is the author of The Bakkian Chronicles and will be a regular guest reviewer here at the Indie Book Blog

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