Who's finished reading Suzanne Brockmann’s book, Dark of Night, yet? I have, I have! And my initial reaction is…
If there had NOT been thirteen books in the series leading up to this story and DON was merely a stand alone novel where no one had ever read about any of the characters before, it would be an awesome book. There’s some kick-butt action, witty dialogue, wonderful super-spy intrigue, and all sorts of romance going on everywhere.
Yet, for a Team Decker/Sophia fan like me, there was, of course, plenty of disappointment. They obviously did not get together for a happily ever after. By the end of this book, though, I was glad they didn’t because the characters they were back in Flashpoint when they met are not the same people they are all these books later in Dark of Night.
Have you ever seen one of those pictures or videos where someone pastes, like, a punk rockers head on the body of a soccer player on top of the legs of a business man in a suit so they end up with a really funny, mixed-up person (yeah, I’m sure you have)? Well, that’s kind of what it felt like in this book. To have Tracy end up with Decker and Sophia end up with Dave, it was like Brockmann had to rearrange the characters and put some of Sophia’s personality into Tracy’s body and some of Decker into Dave’s body.
I’ll give one example of each instance (though there are plenty), and then shut up about that because I’m more anxious to hear everyone else’s thoughts on the matter. Here goes. In previous books, you’ll notice Sophia was always the uber-organized receptionist, and in Flashpoint, she’s the one that went after Decker on their first encounter, not giving in until she had him where she wanted him. In this book, Tracy’s no longer the clumsy screw-up receptionist but the uber-organized one and she’s the one that pushes and prods Decker until she gets him where she wants him.
On the man front, it’s always been Dave that’s opened up to Sophia about himself, being all honest and sincere, and Decker is the one that says nothing to anyone about ANY of his feelings. But in DON, Dave buttons up so much more and Deck spills out his entire life like he’s suddenly sprung a leak in him.
To me, it just felt so odd to see everyone this different. I know Tracy had been reading a bunch of self-help books, straightening her life out, and Decker had some help learning to open up because of Dr. Jo, but man, they all just changed so quickly, they seemed like totally different people to me. Or maybe I’m just over-analyzing because I’ve been way-too focused on reading every little thing Decker and Sophia did in the past few books. I have no idea.
One last issue I found to be strange was the plot. I felt a big sense of author intrusion there, like, Brockmann, not the characters, was controlling the story. She purposely kept Sophia and Decker apart for about nine-tenths of the book so these other characters could insert themselves into being their main love interests. It was like Brockmann knew she couldn’t let Sophia and Decker anywhere near each other or their real characters would emerge and they’d end up together.
But… those are just my initial thoughts. It was a good read, Brockmann remains to be one of my biggest writing heroes, and I did enjoy seeing Decker end up happy and satisfied. Brockmann was able to get me into his romance with Tracy. I didn’t exactly skip over Sophia and Dave’s story completely, but I did read a bit faster through their scenes because they weren’t as earth-shattering for me. But that’s just me.
Now, what is everyone else’s opinions, and remember, your opinion is just that, an opinion. There’s no right or wrong answer, and because of that I’m certainly not going to argue with anyone. I’m just genuinely interested to see how others who’ve followed the Troubleshooters series liked the story.