Misdirected is a story of a recent college graduate named Madison Reynolds who lives in Iron Bay with her father William and Aunt Sara. An interesting characteristic of Iron Bay is that in a sense everyone is related and your dirty laundry tends to lay wrinkled in everyone’s hamper. At this time Madison is dealing with the death of her mother when a young ruggedly handsome man named Dane Buckman enters the picture. At first he is able to keep himself together enough to patiently get what “all men seemingly want” with a sadistic twist.
This book starts with Madison having a difficult time coping with the death of her beloved dog Badger, and her recuperation from physical, mental, and sexual abuse all at the hands of Dane. Being a natural sociopath, Dane is able to seduce the police investigators and clear himself of any criminal wrongdoing. From this revelation and the past abuse, Madison’s whole state of being has changed while Dane’s motivational factors have begun to normalize to unhealthy proportions. While Madison’s obvious trauma has lead to isolation, Dane’s charismatic persona and ever-presence among the community places the small town in conflict on who to believe, but one thing is certain, nothing will ever be the same again.
When I am selecting my next novel to buy, I initially look for the common buzzwords/phrases that immediately dissuade interest. Some of these words/phrases may include, but are not limited to the following: unconventional erotica, in another world 3000 years from now, vampire blood donors,mystic cowboys, heavy-hitting religious preachings, furry little caterpillars…I could go on and on and on. With that said I am quite open minded, which brings me to the book Misdirected (Due North #2). After the analysis of the buzzwords I will then proceed to read the books blurb and figure out if it piques my interest. Unfortunately some books are misleading or more appropriate for this review or “misdirect” me into what I perceived of the plot and what was realized upon reading. This book appealed to my love for psychological miscreants and strong but still vulnerable female characters. Unfortunately the author did not delve into the mental dynamic as much as I would have liked and the lead female came across as a little too malleable to enforce the prescribed strength. My main misunderstanding with my interests and the book blurb were the erotic fiction aspects. I have not read a novel with this amount of sexual behaviour being detailed over pages upon pages. This was an experience I felt was a little gratuitous, and at times did not make much sense with respect to personal points in life. The majority of the public may not like reading of rape/sexual abuse, but I maintain that is equally important for the reader to have a better feel for what fuels the desire to behave so despicably. I felt the author did a good job getting into the mind of the wicked but it could have been better, or worse depending on how you view these things.
Being the second book in a series I feel it would have been beneficial for me if I had read the first book as this book starts off a little jumbled and disconnected. I was able to persevere through the mass of trivial relationships, the bouts of infidelity and the sexual deviancy. This all happened in the first forty pages so I was starting to think that the remainder would be much of the same. The sexual exploits were not as much of a fixture in the rest of the story but being one of the internal motivations of a main character, the story necessitated its presence for fluidity and cohesion.The use of the compass was clearly illustrated and was the integral instrument that was driving Dane’s misdirected sense of self.
This book was an easy read and it held my attention throughout. It was fast-paced and dramatic it just was not a memorable experience for me. Overall I found this book to be quite underwhelming with few surprises, making it very predictable. While reading I had the feeling that their was a connection between this book and the movie version of American Psycho and the relationship drama Fear. Dane’s narcissism reminded me of Patrick Bateman’s morning skin care regiment, and his looking in the mirror flexing his muscles while having sex with prostitutes was very comparable to Dane. Some people will really enjoy this story, but for me I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an alternative in the holiday marathon running of CSI: Miami to a one-off episode of CSI: Iron Bay.