Why I read it: Part of my "Blogger's Books" project (wherein I read books by people whose blogs I read and decide whether I should really be taking their writing advice). The blogs in this case are: http://asknicola.blogspot.com/ and http://gemaecca.blogspot.com/.
I had read a ton about Always during the LBC thing last year, so I knew where this book was going, which might have ruined it a bit for me, as I kept yelling (in my head, of course, not out loud) to Aud not to get too close...
A couple of weeks ago bloggers were posting their one-star comments from Amazon, and a lot of them complained about the excessive martial arts and self defense information. That all didn't bother me.
And I may have accidentally ruined the ending for myself (with the who that it was that was trying to kill them, and who the blackmailer was) by accidentally flipping to the back.
What I liked: I don't read that much in the thriller or suspense genres, but this seemed to follow that general plan, though with a very different protagonist. I think Matt Cheney didn't like "Always" because of the hard-boiled voice. The voice didn't bother me at all. I found it very readable. Maybe I read a lot of un-readable crap or something, but when a book takes me two or three days to read, I'm always surprised.
What I hated: The cover design was weird. Maybe it was a dog whistle? That wasn't at all what I envisioned Aud looking like, and the focus did seem to be on her crotch. I guess it's a nice change from the "baby got back" covers that are all the rage now. However, requesting a book through the library system means I'm not judging it by its cover, and I guess that's a good thing.
What I can steal: It all just seemed to work. I don't know if that's something I can steal, but it's something I can aspire to. I liked how the martial arts was worked in so smoothly. Maybe I should rename this section in my template to "Conclusions" for the Blogger's Books project. My conclusion is, I should take her advice (as ever with the ginormous caveat of "when it works for me").