Make no bones about it, The Wreck, is aptly titled, so expect an emotionally drama-filled plot that surrounds the issues of losing love ones and losing innocence.
The author's writing is efficient, almost evenly distributing details in the minds of the main characters and secondary characters alike, which is probably why the reader may not connect with either of the two main people, Carly and Brian.
Meet Carly, the perky cheerleader, girl next door type, who has loved Brian since she was thirteen, and cannot imagine life without him as her husband and the father of her 2.5 kids. This is, of course, until the minute she and Brian witness the terrible tragedy that takes away 6 of their best friends, including Brian's brother. Carly struggles physically with this more than Brian to the point where she is literally incapable of moving on.
Though losing his brother is painful, more painful is the unbelievable loss of the love of his life, Carly. Brian struggles with this, but hollowly gets on with his life.
Two plots then run parallel: Brian and his father's growing suspicions about the tragedy being deliberately planned by a mysterious man and the unveiling Carly's life over the past 15 years. For the most part, the reader can pick up on the clues to guess the "perp" who is responsible for not only the tragedy, but the recent rapes and murders happening around the area (the author again is efficient in adding in the nuances of psycho-sociological theory of serial killers to make things plausible). Though the culprit is reasonably obvious, the explanation isn't. And while you are guessing "who did it?", you may not pick up on the subtle clues about the secret clouding Carly's careful
existence. So it is safe to say that surprise and suspense are deliberately strong elements in this plot.
What is not deliberately strong is characterization(I think I need a KA re-read). My peeves were directly with the heroine, first and foremost and with the hero, secondary. From Carly's hang-ups to her lack of strength to her decision making, this heroine made me want to slap her into next week. The people around her forgive her too easily, but I couldn't, no matter that the author made the dialogue poignantly filled with what-ifs and "it's for the best". Then, out of nowhere, this angelically weak heroine finds the strength to do something that is SO far out of character, in the face of danger, at the end. Sorry, I couldn't buy it. So, that leaves the hero. Nope, couldn't get with him either. Enough said.
This book read like a soap opera. If it had more sizzle in the romance of the couple, I could have forgiven the lack of character development. Yet, the strong issue of family and some parts with Brian's parents almost leaned me towards forgiving it.
Now I feel like I've ranted, but I do recommend this book if you like to read about tragedies, and you like to read a suspense just for the hell of testing your skill at prediction.