Caching In: A Geocaching Love Story by Tracy Krimmer
A Romance Novel published by Amazon (12/11/14)
Ally cooper is in a rut; same banking job for six years, no boyfriend, and a day with nothing to do…
On a hike she runs into a Geocaching couple and decides to pick up the hobby herself. At her first find and second Geocaching attempt, she meets Seth at his Bed and Breakfast and he takes her out. Meanwhile, her best friend, Chelsea is in her own type of rut, stuck on a man who already has a girlfriend. When both Ally and Chelsea compete for the same promotion at the bank, Ally’s life will turn on its head and the only constant and stable part will be her growing number of Geocaching finds.
Romance, Bed and Breakfast, Bank Teller, Best Friends, Cheating Boyfriends, Geocaching, Predictable Plot
From page one of Caching In, I found the novel to be raw. It follows your average girl Ally and she isn’t all Pretty in Pink or perfect manners. She fights with her best friend. She jumps to the wrong conclusion almost every time. She’s almost thirty, but acts like a rebellious and sullen teenager. She is overly melodramatic, but also gutsy and sticks with her convictions doggedly. She is a girl to be admired, though it is difficult to see her as an adult and not as a eighteen or nineteen years old, because that’s how she acts. She gets overcome by her own emotions and drama and sometimes you just want to smack her for overreacting and jumping to the worst conclusions in both her romantic life and in her relationship with Chelsea. Over time she has to get over her romantic past and move one.
“Maybe this was the problem. For so many years, I maintained the same hair, the same job, and the same things always held me back. ” (Page 168).
The author falls into the trap of describing details of Ally’s environment that aren’t always important to the main narrative and I ended up skimming a lot of these extraneous parts. Krimmer also uses phrases and wording that comes off as awkward and hard to read. At times, though, Krimmer punches off a clever phrasing like the previous quote.
This novel was published by Amazon December 11, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 2.75
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First to Find by Mark Gessner
A Thriller Novel published on lulu.com (07/26/2010)
First to find is full of firsts and finds that you may think you have all figured out until the ultimate first to find, every nightmare any geocacher has dreamed about. If it’s a gruesome murder, then why leave behind a jar of urine or a dead dog? Casual geocachers out for their finds will stumble upon more than they bargained for in this tale of murder and revenge. If the geocachers put together the clues, will they be led right to the killer or will he catch on to their game?
Hiking, Woods, GPS, Murder, Deranged, Thriller, Geocaching, Clues, Romance, Texas
Mark Gessner opens his book First to Find with the quote “Never mess with a Geocacher — we know the best places to hide a body.” (Page 5). Gessner continues to give out great tidbits in this book, like little treasures waiting to be read. The writing style was continuously smooth, without hitches or hiccups. The flow of action was also quite smooth and progressed naturally, building up tension over time to its exciting climax.
Gessner doesn’t give the reader a chance to guess the identity of the killer, but he brings us along as the two geocachers attempt to pin down who it is. We are right along with them in their hunt. The moment when the killer turns on them is the ultimate tense scene, because at that point I am so invested in their story and so completely believing of the killer’s ability that I can only think it will end poorly for Judi and Kurt.
Each character was given full room for development and each was fully made alive. The killer had a larger role than I would expect, but even he was made bare by the end. Gessner was able to give me a well-rounded killer with equally well-rounded motivation, even if it wasn’t fully explained until the end. I absolutely loved the line, “The killer kept himself in good physical condition, and except for an occasional swig of Old Granddad and a recently developed taste for murder, he had no vices” (Page 147).
By the end everything made sense and the puzzle pieces fit together perfectly. I understand why Gessner would give his killer the name “The Killer” until the main characters found out his identity, but I didn’t think it was necessary, since even his name didn’t mean anything until that was later further explained.
This novel was published by lulu.com 07/26/2010 and is available on Amazon here.
TLDR Star Rating: 4.50
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The Heist by Shaun Jeffrey
A Thriller Novel published by Deshca Press (02/05/2013)
The Heist opens with a high stakes robbery at a theme park, resulting in the deaths of 87 innocents when the gang leader blows up a roller coaster as the robbers escape. Months later the lead investigator in the robbery/murder case Kurt Vaughn is out for a nice family day in the park with son and wife when they are all unwillingly thrust into the gang leader’s newest plan.
Heist, GPS, Murder, Deranged, Thriller, Geocaching, Puzzles, Multicache, Investigation
I picked up this novel because it involved geocaching and I wasn’t disappointed. There was a multi-cache with some cool puzzles and interesting hiding places. The author used some of the more clever points of geocaching, although technically only one geocache was involved. This story was like the geocache version of Dan Brown’s clever clues in The Da Vinci Code.
For such a simple story, at approximately 24k words, it was quite intriguing and the author kept the tension throughout, climaxing in an exciting hold-your-breath way and ending just the way I wanted. There were a few plot holes and inconsistencies, but they didn’t detract from the thrilling plotline. This could have been a longer story had the author filled in details between the heist and the time we meet Kurt and his family, but I thought the novel worked quite well just as it was.
This novel was published by Deshca Press 02/05/2013 and is available on Amazon here.
TLDR Star Rating: 4.25
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