Review: “Tainted Bodies” by Sarah Robinson

Tainted Bodies by Sarah RobinsonA review by Danielle.

Kate Jackson is a smart, pretty girl living in Washington D.C. She’s settled for an unfulfilling life working at her uncle’s store, even though she has a Psychology degree. One day, a gorgeous stranger named Derrick asks Kate out. After a month of whirlwind dates, Kate and Derrick fall in love. The only problem is Derrick’s refusal to take the next step. Jaded from his own traumatizing first love, and only experience with a committed relationship, Derrick isn’t sure he’s ready for all the responsibilities that come with being someone’s boyfriend. After six months together Derrick takes Kate away for a romantic weekend; Kate finally receives the validation for their relationship that she has been hoping for. After arriving home from their long weekend, Kate is viciously attacked in her apartment. Violently assaulted and devastated, Kate refuses to speak with police at first. When Derrick abandons her after hearing she was raped, Kate finds the strength to not let another man get away with hurting her. As she works with police, it’s soon evident this was not the work of some amateur- the attacker is a darkly evil man who likes to stalk his victims. It becomes clear that he isn’t finished with Kate, not by a long shot.

Tainted Bodies is listed as a suspenseful romance about a killer who takes a photograph of every woman he kills. This first installment didn’t even come close to living up to its description. The first 60% of the book is filled with sparse back story and the most forced, choppy dialogue I have read in a while. The character development is incredibly lacking and the inconsistencies left me confused. For example, Derrick comes to pick Kate up on their first date Friday night but come Monday morning when he asks her out for a second date he asks for her address. Shouldn’t he have it? He literally just saw her 48 hours earlier. Small details that don’t line up make me wonder about the professional level of this book. Then there’s the trite description of the female character being ignored by boys all her life, but really she is gorgeous. All of a sudden every guy within 5 miles is reduced to a lovesick puppy while she still labors under the impression that she is a plain Jane.

Even more infuriating is Kate herself. After she’s raped and Derick bolts from the hospital, completely avoiding her for a week because this wasn’t what he signed up for, he later begs for forgiveness. Kate (being the weak minded, one-dimensional character that she is) forgives him within five minutes of his “I’m sorry I was a colossal asshole and left you to deal with the most horrible situation a woman can go through alone” speech). Derrick’s behavior and inner dialogue is so grossly inappropriate and disturbing, essentially blaming Kate for doing this to “him,” it made me sick.

I truly dislike giving books a bad review but in this case I have no choice. I feel that there is too little going on with the characters and the dialogue is very predictable. The last straw for me was when the plot finally comes to an interesting road as details regarding Kate’s attacker are revealed and book one ends. No doubt it’s intended to hook the reader into continuing on, but I find that kind of ploy insulting. If you write a gripping, well thought-out story with relatable characters, readers will actually want to buy the next installments to find out what is going to happen next.

My rating: 1/5 stars.

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