In Brad Chisholm and Claire Kim’s KAT & MAUS, Mark Bell, a sharp defense attorney, is a man who knows what he likes and provides others with little say in the matter. When he finds out his wife, Kat, has been hiding images and even videos of herself sleeping with other men, he becomes obsessed with whether or not she may be cheating on him or if all of this is just a window into her past life.
Finn Maus, a former German soldier, has no money and no plan for his post-war life, but he is desperate to keep his friend out of prison. As a compromise, Mark asks Finn to seduce Kat on a getaway to a fancy ski resort in exchange for representing his friend. In a twist of fate, love gets in the way, but will jealousies, distrust, and betrayal win the day?
The book does have quite a number of complications and surprises designed to keep readers on their toes, but as far its genre, it falls far from the range of a typical thriller or romance. This isn’t necessarily a problem. Though the novel itself might not fit into any clear category, it does manage to keep its momentum to the very end. Unfortunately, the characters are somewhat wooden and stereotypical, which could bore some readers.
The main issue with the book, however, is that it doesn’t seem to have received a strong edit before being published. There are numerous grammatical mistakes, characters names are mentioned more often than necessary, and other issues that would have been caught during a simple copy edit are glaringly obvious.*
In addition, there are a number of problems with its content, especially in the handling of the rape accusation and case, which seem to merely exist at the whim of an evil young woman who has nothing better to do than accuse random men of assault. Other women in the book are also dismissed as unintelligent, cold or fickle, which, especially in our current climate, seems rather tone-deaf. Though parts of the story appear to favor the concepts of female strength and worth, this does not make up for the considerably anti-feminist subtext found throughout the book.
KAT & MAUS isn’t a typical romantic thriller, and while the novel might not fit into any clear category, it does manage to keep its momentum to the very end, with an occasionally intriguing plot that will keep readers turning pages.
~Julia Tilford for IndieReader
* NOTE: The version available for sale has undergone editorial improvements since this review was completed