Saturday, November 6, 2010

Contagion by Joanne Dahme

I love reading about strong heroines, real or imaginary so when I read this "Rose must discover who is trying to kill her, while keeping the people of Philadelphia safe from the contagion poisoning the city's water system" I thought, "ooh, tough chick!"  NOT!

First, I must say, the history of the Fairmount Water Works in Philadelphia is interesting, though it does get bogged down when it gets into turbines and the specifics.  The author certainly knows what she is talking about.  I found my myself fascinated enough that I came online and googled for pictures.

Found this on
Really intersting article with pictures about the historic
Water Works and the changes that have been made.  This
is the Water Works in 1820.
Sadly, this is the same location that the heroine, Rose, watches her best friend be murdered.  Rose suspects her friend's murder was a mistake and that she was supposed to die instead.  Her and her incredibly annoying pompous husband have been getting threatening letters.  Her husband wants to destroy the Water Works and put up water filtration plants.  Just how far is he willing to go to get his way?  Meanwhile, Rose and a manager of the Water Works try to figure out what is going on, why the water is contaminated all of a sudden with thypoid (Gasp! What a coicidence!) and who killed her best friend. 

It was obvious to me from page ten whodunit or I should say who was behind it, but I was interested enough to keep chugging along, but the further I got, the more digusted I became with Rose.  She finds a gift to another woman in her husband's study, smells perfume on his drunken self when he comes home at four in the morning, notices he acts his "post lovemaking" self, but allows him to manhandle her and patronize her and does whatever he asks and actually trusts this guy???  Hello?  Even in 1895 I think it woulda been quite obvious what's going on.  Instead, this simpering ninny hands over the evidence to him and when a detective asks her if her husband could be stepping out, she responds, "Why would you ask me that, Detective?"  She cries and trembles.  "My husband-loves me.  He would never..."

Oh geez.  It was at this point (page 173) I began to skim.  I'm afraid I didn't encounter any surprises or shocking revelations, really.  I actually purchased this book brand spanking new though and I am entitled to my opinion. 

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