“Venom” by K. C. Grant is a different type of suspense / mystery—in a good way. I think the term “slow burn” is a good way to describe the feel of the book, but that doesn’t mean it was boring. For me, a “slow burn” takes time to build up the suspense, like a pot of boiling water. And just like said pot, once the water does get to a full boil, it is quite turbulent.
So, if it takes its time to develop, then what happens in the meantime? Grant uses this to develop her characters so when the spam hits the fan, you honestly care about what happens.
The story centers around Samantha Evans, a woman in her mid-twenties who is working at an entry level position at a big advertising firm. She seems to be going nowhere fast, until opportunity knocks. The company is sending a team to Mexico City to work on a campaign. Samantha speaks Spanish fluently thanks to an LDS mission she served to California. Because of her knowledge of the language, she gets the chance to go with the group as an assistant / translator.
Grant does a wonderful job creating the unique and definable characters that go on this trip. As a single woman, Samantha finds herself getting attention from a couple of the men on the trip—one she appreciates and one she doesn’t. But it’s not cut and dried. Just as Samantha starts to figure out these men, they do things that make her doubt their intentions.
During the two week trip, Samantha comes to realize the people aren’t who they pretend to be—each for their own reasons. She discovers she is involved in much more than an advertising campaign.
One aspect of the book I really enjoyed was the insight to Mexico and its culture. We learn it through Samantha’s eyes, so we discover things as she does. It adds a level of depth that many books lack.
Did I enjoy this book? Yes, yes I did. Very much so, in fact. It’s written very well with enough detail to be interesting, but not bogged down. I came to like, or despise, the characters over time—I made a real connection with them. For me, this is more of a character story set in a mystery / suspense setting.
Who would like this book? It’s a clean read with no bad language, sex scenes and very little violence. It’s geared more to an LDS (Mormon) audience as there are many references that non-members may not fully understand or appreciate.
For more about author K. C. Grant, click here.
To buy it on Amazon, click here.
To buy it from Deseret Book, click here.