The Legend of Rachel Petersen - J.T. Baroni 3.5 starsThis suspense/thriller starts off with the introduction of Christian Kane, our contemporary character, sports journalist turned novelist. Like many present day thrillers, Christian has the happy, sexy marriage, job and house. I was not as excited about the characterization and descriptions penned in the beginning because many felt very much like 'asides' inserted merely as quick background information. This is common in contemporary fiction and is just a personal taste thing that I don't care for, but is not necessarily bad if you go for this approach. Have patience though, because the meat and most intriguing portion of the novel comes when we go back in time. Reading more like a historical fiction than contemporary thriller, we get the details of Rachel Petersen. The dialogue is authentic, the setting believable and I was drawn deeper and deeper into the story. As mentioned in the press release, two twists occur. Without giving away spoilers, the novel transitions at the end to contemporary times (back to Kane and his wife), which journals all the happy rise to the top his best seller novel takes. At first, I was disappointed by the cliche jolt and stark contrast in writing from the style I'd grown to enjoy -- but the twist happens, and then happens again. I believe Baroni succeeded in writing the type of story he set out to do -- however, I preferred the style and voice set in the past, rather than the characters created for contemporary purposes. I did not care for Christian or Shelby, nor did I get attached to them in anyway. I would have liked to seen more development in the present so I could care about both times featured in the book. In my opinion, the book's gem sits solely in the middle where the story of Rachel is told. This is where the stars were earned.