"Ashley had been the one who'd convinced Diana to move back into their childhood home soon after she lost Daniel. Life in the farmhouse where she and Daniel had been living was spartan, and all she'd brought back with her were a few pieces of furniture and the computer equipment that had filled the railway container where they'd worked. But since then, Diana hadn't let anyone, not even Ashley, into the safe space she'd created where no one could reach her unless she invited them in." -- From Come and Find Me
I've always enjoyed Ms. Ephron's fiction writing articles in Writer's Digest Magazine, and also own her book Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel. When I received an unsolicited review copy from the publisher (William Morrow), I was more than excited to read Come and Find Me: at last, I can actually see for myself how fiction writing expert Ephron puts her sage advice into action within a novel!
The premise is intriguing: an ex-hacker, now reformed with her own security company, lives like a recluse since her lover/partner plunges to his death off a mountain. She conducts business in OtherWorld, which sounds just like Second Life. In fact, she runs the company with the other member of Gamelan, a guy named Jake (Daniel, her dead lover, was the third member of the now-reformed hackers' new security endeavor).
I'm sad to say I had to quit reading this book after 70 pages. For one thing, the character was cardboard and her actions a bit unbelievable. (She has an anxiety disorder--possibly PTSD--from seeing her lover die. Yet, she recreates the event in a virtual world. It just doesn't make sense...)
Diana's flat, and not particularly likable. I had no reason to care about her (sorry, but the mere fact of having lost someone doesn't automatically engender character affection), and the computer-nerd talk is drawn out and boring. (I'm a bit of a techie myself, so it's not the genre or topic, I assure you. It's the delivery.)
Diana's sister, Ashley, is a bit more well-drawn (materialistic, air-headed blond) but, again, I could care less that she's about to go missing (we're told this right on the book cover jacket).
I look at it this way: I have dozens of books crying out for my attention (and valuable time). If the sister doesn't disappear by page 70, and I'm not invested in the characters or convinced by this "world" (either real or virtual), then I'm just not going to waste my time reading it.
I've come across worse books, sure, but Come and Find Me is pretty lame from what I've read. I pushed to get to 70 pages, but just couldn't justify going all the way to page 276 when there was no intrigue, mystery or emotional investment to hook me and drag me on for a thrill ride.