Book Review-Original Sin by Beth McMullen

21 Sep, 2011 by in mystery Leave a comment

Original Sin
A Sally Sin Adventure
by Beth McMullen
Hardcover 304 Pages
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
by Hyperion
ISBN: 1401324215
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: Publisher

On the surface, Lucy Hamilton looks just like all the other stay-at-home San Francisco moms. She takes her three-year-old son, Theo, to the beach, to the playground and to the zoo. She feeds him organic applesauce and free-range chicken. She folds laundry and plays on the floor with Matchbox cars until her knees ache. What no one knows about Lucy, not even her adoring husband, is that for nine years Lucy was Sally Sin, a spy for the United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction. And that’s just the way she wants to keep it – a secret. But when Lucy’s nemesis Ian Blackford, a notorious illegal arms dealer, hits the USAWMD’s radar, the Agency calls Sally Sin back to action to lure Blackford out into the open. Racing against time, Lucy must fight to save herself, her loving family – and, oh right – the world. Hilarious and resonant, ORIGINAL SIN is the story of one woman’s quest to find that most elusive work-life balance in the face of danger, intrigue, and proper recycling habits.

You know, I really do love a good mystery, and Original Sin has many of the characteristics of a good mystery: a strong lead, interesting characters, plenty of action and a well unraveled plot. Sally (or Lucy) looks to the world like every other paranoid, first time mother; with her purse filled to the brim with sippy cups and crackers, watching her 3 year old son’s every move. What everyone around her doesn’t realize is that her paranoia comes from experience, she has seen the worst the world can do and isn’t about to let it reach her precocious little boy (he is very clearly and only child).

I enjoyed the back and forth between current day and Sally’s past adventures with the USAWMD. You really get a picture of the whole Sally when you see both aspects of her life. Past and present begin to mingle and help you understand more of what is going one. The author does a great job of unraveling a little bit of the mystery at a time, building your knowledge of the big picture bit by bit. Even by the end of the book, you aren’t quite sure how everything fits together, leaving you to anticipate the next book in the series.

So, why if I enjoyed the mystery, do I only give this book a three star rating? This comes into content. I admit, I am a bit of a prude when it comes to the books that I read. To be honest, if I hadn’t been sent this book on review, I would likely have quit reading it after the 5th dropping of the “F-bomb” (about 2 chapters into the book). What I find curious about it’s use is that it appears to be the author‘s swear word of choice, because we see very little other swearing (a few other incidents here and there). There is also very limited sexual content (mostly all innuendo or a quick mention of what occurred, without much description). This leads me to ask, why include the aforementioned “F-bomb” so often if you kept the book fairly clean of anything else? I honestly really enjoyed the story-line and had it left out the swearing or limited it more I would easily have given this book a 4.5 star rating.

Content: quite a bit of the “F-bomb” and other minor swear words, mention of sex between adults and other somewhat sexual content (but fairly minor). See the paragraph above for more on the book’s content.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes. No other compensation was received.

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