ARC Review : The Red Ledger Part 1 By Meredith Wild

*I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in return of an honest review.

He’s death for hire…

Some people measure life in hours. Days. Weeks. I measure mine in kills. A covert military mission gone wrong robbed me of my memory and any link to my past. This is my existence now. I execute and survive. Nothing more, nothing less. I was ready to write Isabel Foster’s name in my ledger of unfortunate souls until she uttered the one word that could stop the bullet meant for her. My name.

She knows my face. She knows me. She’s the key to the memories I’m not sure I want back. Now nothing is simple. I still have a job to do, and my soul isn’t worth saving. I’m not the man she thinks I am. I can’t love her. And sparing her life puts us both in the crosshairs.

This book currently has an average rating of 4.12 from more than 1700 reviewers. Suffice it to say, I feel like I’m in the minority here.

On paper, the premise of this book is everything I’d want in a Romantic Suspense. But somewhere between the plotting and the characterization, the storytelling lost the charm that the synopsis promised.

Tristan is a contract killer who has no memory of his past. When he is in Rio De Janeiro for his next target, it turns out to be Isabel who invokes old feelings and memories in him. When she recognizes him in a crowd, he knows that she is someone from his past.

It turns out that they used to date each other in high school before a tragedy compelled him to enlist in the army. The last contact between Isabel and Tristan had been when he broke up with her from the army which left her so broken that she still is haunted by that pain.

By the way Isabel was acting during the beginning, you’d think she had suffered a severe traumatic experience that forced her to abandon her old life to pack up her old life and become a teacher in Brazil. Being dumped by her teenage love was not what I had at all expected to be the traumatic experience.

The transition of Tristan from being determined in killing Isabel to helping her escape his ‘comrades’ was not very convincingly written. But I could conjure more feelings for him than Isabel who I couldn’t care less about. I could see Tristan’s conflict as he had no memory but was still conflicted over the shadow of his feelings for this girl who is the only link to his past. But Isabel, on the other hand, was so acquiescent and easy to trust Tristan’s demands, she came off spineless..

Also, these two felt a little too horny for people who were on the run for their lives. She apparently had her heart broken by him and he had no recollection of their love. But who cares about all that complex history when you can get your rocks off?

I get that this is the first part and the author wanted to leave out a lot of the details and back-story for the later parts. But there should be at least a solid start to the series with convincing story-telling for me to continue to the series. Sadly, I already can predict how the series will proceed and don’t feel the slightest inclination to continue. That’s a pity because this would’ve been a really promising read with a better execution.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)
You can find this book on Goodreads & Amazon