Good Sam, by Dete Meserve, is a book that has been patiently sitting in my Kindle Cloud for months. It has positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and, as a reader who does not like wasting my time on a book that shows little promise, I decided to give it a try.
“Good Sam,” stands for “Good Samaritan,” a modern-day version of the Biblical character who is charitable for charity’s sake. Or is he? (Or she.)
Someone has been anonymously leaving bags of one hundred thousand dollars on people’s doorsteps throughout Los Angeles. The recipients come from a variety of neighborhoods and socio-economic backgrounds, so why were they chosen? The question of who is behind these seemingly random acts is the novel’s backbone. Kate Bradley, a 20-something beat reporter for Channel 11 has been assigned to the story.
Unfortunately, what could’ve been an inspired plot about true kindness in a fast-paced, metropolitan setting, was actually a flimsy romance. Kate is a protagonist who fails to earn my sympathy or appreciation. Alternately strong and independent, she acts weak and distressed in the arms of the right man. She claims to be someone who pursues and respects truth, but she is very selective in whose lies she forgives. Essentially, a maddening character who I found myself rolling my eyes at again and again.
In addition, as someone who was born and raised in Los Angeles, I found the city’s portrayal ridiculous and full of stereotypes.
I wanted to enjoy this book, but its initial potential quickly waned. As I said, I don’t like to waste my time as a reader, so I will say that the main redeeming quality of Good Sam was how fast I was able to finish it. (I started it last night.) The zigzag ending only confirmed what I figured out less than halfway into the novel, and even that was barely worth my time. Sadly, if you are a reader in search of substance, I advise you look elsewhere.