Publication Date: January 22, 2014
In Beware the Seventh Wave by Maureen Gregory, Emma thinks she’s found the perfect man but is he a killer or the perfect person to take the fall? How well do you really know the person with whom you fall in love?
The author, Maureen Gregory, gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my review.
Emma is not a nice person when we meet her. She goes to the funeral that opens the book hoping to see an old flame. She’s married and he’s married, but she seems to be hanging on to an adolescent delusion of him throwing everything away and rescuing her from the beast of burden her relationship with her husband has become. Gregory shows us in a very telling and somewhat extended scene with a core of accusation. Did the husband turn off Emma’s alarm? If he did, the reader sees it would be a win for Emma in a relationship that has become about being a right fighter.
There is a feeling of the 1939 Norma Shearer movie The Women in Beware the Seventh Wave. All of the characters are just that little bit of nasty to each other. They revel in the others trials and tribulations and failures. There’s a superiority maintained. “I may not be in an enviable position, but at least I’m not as poor as this other person.” An equine competitor uses the knowledge she knows will bother Emma to try to throw her under the guise of insider info and the author does the same with her characters. Alicia is a horrible person in Emma’s eyes. She uses her looks and her smile and her charisma to be horrible to Emma while charming Mark. It’s like the person who pretended to be on your side walking on screen and kissing the bad guy. We know in advance that the poor dumb penis will go for the best looks so while the narrative is in third-person, it really reads more like a first-person dream for Emma. In one scene he leaves with Alicia, but “his attention was firmly fixed on Emma.” (Page 81).
As character studies go, Beware the Seventh Wave was a good one. Gregory delicately layers Emma in showing us her attraction to Mark, the relationship with Phil and the coming to a head of both. We see the rationale for Mark’s resentment toward his wife, and Emma actually tries to be a reasonable person and gives her the benefit of the doubt — another layer. On the heels of the funeral, we see Emma making big changes in her own life and perhaps realizing that what she wants, but what she thinks she wants aren’t the same thing. Gregory’s transitions between past and present are smooth and her writing style flows in a way where readers aren’t stopping to look back and see how we got to certain points in Emma’s timeline.
There are soap opera twists and turns that will appeal to readers of romance. There’s also a very human failing honesty to the story that will attract people who like human interest stories. Beware the Seventh Wave flows fast and well so can easily be read in a single sitting for people looking to relax with a good read.
Read an excerpt and buy Beware the Seventh Wave by Maureen Gregory on