Nicole Reads A Lot

so many books, so little time

Like a Fly on the Wall by Simone Kelly

on June 7, 2017
Title:
Like a Fly on the Wall
Author:Simone Kelly
PublisherHarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date:July 11, 2017
Publisher's DescriptionFrom talented debut author Simone Kelly comes this suspenseful novel that crackles with intrigue, sex, and plenty of surprises—perfect for fans of Eric Jerome Dickey and Carl Weber.

Meet Jacques Berradi. Moroccan-born and Manhattan-raised, his genuine, sexy-smooth allure goes hand in hand with a unique gift. Since Jacques was young, he has had the ability to read peoples’ energies, communicate with spirit guides, and even catch glimpses of people’s futures. Now a professional “intuitive counselor,” Jacques’s clients pay him handsomely for his insight. Unfortunately, Jacques’s psychic abilities don’t come with an off switch to tune out the world’s noise, nor do they always provide him with easy answers; recently Jacques has begun having dark, alarming dreams about his beloved father, a Moroccan immigrant who died when he was a boy.

Meet Kylie Collins, an adventurous, Miami twentysomething who is trying to find her footing after being laid off from a cushy music industry job. When a mishap brings them together, Kylie is instantly mesmerized by Jacques’s cool demeanor and intuitive abilities, and he’s captivated by her outgoing charm and breezy good looks. Seeking to learn more about her family history—including the identity of the father she’s never known—Kylie visits Jacques’s office to gain some insight about her future, and about her free-spirited and headstrong Jamaican mother, True.

But on the night that they meet, a rolling blackout cuts off power throughout Miami. Kylie and Jacques, and a few of his clients, head to the only place in the neighborhood with enough light to see: Like a Fly on the Wall Detective Agency. There, Kylie serendipitously lands herself the perfect new job as an apprentice private eye.

As partners, Jacques and Kylie are an unstoppable duo. Can Jacques’s intuition reveal the scandalous history of Kylie’s mother and father? Will Kylie’s newfound detective skills uncover evidence about the death of Jacques’s father? And will the chemistry that charges their friendship bubble over into something much, much hotter…?
My rating:***

I couldn’t figure out the point of this novel for at least the first quarter of it. It was certainly well-written, which I always appreciate, but the connection between Jacques and Kylie never felt real to me. While the book’s blurb gave me the impression that they were going to end up closely tied to one another, I didn’t feel that this was reflected in the actual novel. They were initially sexually attracted to each other and then became each other’s best friends? I know that they eventually each helped the other uncover long-buried family secrets, but I didn’t really buy that they would have remained in contact long enough to reach that point. I didn’t feel as though the author gave a good enough reason for the elevation of their chance encounter from random to meaningful. While this was obviously the basis for a lot of what happened subsequently in the book, it always felt slightly off to me.

Of the two protagonists, Jacques was, to me, clearly the more compelling character. I enjoyed the author’s matter-of-fact treatment of his psychic abilities. I was also quite interested in his family drama, way more than I was in Kylie’s. Along the pathways to self and family discovery, both characters exercised appalling judgment. I engaged in a fair bit of eye-rolling and my exasperation with their foolishness definitely detracted from my enjoyment of this novel. The author’s writing style did intrigue me and the second half of the book worked much better for me than the first, but Like a Fly on the Wall definitely did not leave me clamoring to read more by Ms. Kelly.

I received this book free of charge for Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.


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