Body Language is the fourth of five books in the Hero for
Hire series. The first three were memorable. I guess the law of
averages had to show up sometime. Or the law of probability. Or some
scientific law which states that all good things must come to an end. Or if not exactly end, then they become....somewhat less than memorable.
Body Language doesn't even have a hero for hire. What we've got is
Jacquie Summers, a young woman who's trying her hand at bodyguarding. She
dropped out of law school and business school and has essentially been
unhappy and unsuccessful at anything she's tried. Her aunt, S .J. Slade,
who owns the agency, has hired Jacquie. What Jacquie really wants is to
open her own private investigative firm, but that will wait. She's promised
her aunt that she'll work as a bodyguard for a year.
Computer software designer Rick Westley is finishing the design on a
program which will make all software programs compatible with every other
program. (In our dreams.) Even though a letter bomb addressed to him blows
up and almost demolishes him along with his office, he's still not sold on
the need for a bodyguard. He does take advantage of his boss' isolated
cabin. He's going to hole up and finish his program. When his bodyguard,
Jack Summers, shows up, Rich knows that this is one bodyguard who's going
to interfere with his concentration. His single-minded compulsive nerdiness
rears its head. He's got a deadline, so he solves his dilemma easily. He
Don't write Jacquie off so fast. She doesn't stay fired. Instead of saving
Rick, she almost kills him, three times. The back blurb mentions that she
makes up for her lack of experience with dangerous enthusiasm. No kidding!
I can accept flipping him too hard, injuring his back and having to take
him to the hospital. I did get a little bothered when she accidentally
pointed her gun, ahem – there, and okay, maybe pushing Rick out of
what she thinks is harm's way and instead pushes him into the path of a
moving car is somewhat believable but when Jacquie disables the bad guy
with an oar and then hits Rick with it, too, causing him to go into a coma,
I'd had enough. Buffoonery is not an attractive trait in a bodyguard. In
fact, I highlighted a sentence that I thought was the crux of the problem.
By allowing herself to get involved with Rick, she had jeopardized his
safety, and that was reprehensible.
I agree completely.
There are lots of vocations that one can work at and not really do any
serious harm. We've all read of the sales clerk who's fired because she
tells the fat lady she's . . . fat. Or we've been introduced to the
waitress who drops food on heads or laps. There are just some occupations
that don't avail themselves to much humor. Want to read about an unskilled
doctor? An unqualified policeman? An untrained deep sea diver? If you're
not interested in an inept bodyguard, then this book is not for you. Just
imagine Lucy Ricardo as a bodyguard. Hard to do, isn't it?
Jacquie isn't a bad sort. She's just floundering between careers. My whole
objection to Body Language is that you don't take up a serious
career like bodyguarding on a lark. The author refers to bodyguard boot
camp. That bit of silliness should have been my first clue that traits of
Lucy would be in evidence. Body Language disappointed me both as part of a series and as a stand alone book. There are times for humor, but I
felt it was terribly out of place here.
I wanted that Hero for Hire, not a bumbling body guard. But if ineptness doesn't bother you, then you may have a different reaction.