By in Books

Two Mini Mystery Book Reviews

Over the weekend I read two rather short . I wish I had chosen something else. I would not recommend either of these, and I don't think I will read these authors again. Here's why.

Out of the Past: A Reed Ferguson Mystery by Renee Pawlish

This is supposed to be a crime suspense thriller. If I'm going to suffer through suspense in a book, I at least want to care about the characters. I could not find one well-developed character in this book, and the only characters I liked, Reed's friends and girlfriend, played mostly minor roles. I consider this a tale of crooked executives reaping what they have sown and wanting protection from “payback” from other crooked people or the Mafia.

Reed, a private investigator, is hired by a rich and powerful man, Forrest McMahon to protect his daughter, Stephanie McMahon from someone, but he is never told who. He didn't want the job. First, he was abducted and beaten up by two of McMahon's bodyguards before even knowing why he was abducted. They force him into a car and take him to a club and show him the girl. Then they take him to her father and he is offered the job. When he tried to refuse it, McMahon blackmailed him into taking it. So he was forced to protect the rich and spoiled trust-fund rebellious daughter who liked to do what she pleased, except she made it almost impossible to guard her.

In this book there is a lot of chasing, shooting, tailing and being tailed, and not knowing who the real villians are until the end. But I didn't really care. The main characters were selfish and unprincipled for the most part. Stephanie was into the drug / alcohol / club scene, a lifestyle that doesn't appeal to me at all, and there was little in her (as shown) to like. Life was totally about her. Her friends, two of whom got murdered just before Reed took the case, were also part of this scene. Then one was run down by a car right in front of Reed and Stephanie. Since most of the characters were little more than names to me, I didn't much care what happened to them, and I saw no growth in any of them who were still living by the end, which I was glad to finally reach.

Voices: Book 2 in the David Chance series by John Michael Hileman

In this book, I cared much more about the , but the left a lot to be desired. It is hinted somewhere that this is a Christian book, but I would never classify it that way. Both Jon Blake, who runs from his house believing his father had murdered his girlfriend, and David Chance, who needs to find more than a part-time job to support himself, hear voices. The voices and messages they receive from the voices guide them. David is sure the messages come from God to guide him, but Jon doesn't understand them at all. By the end I wasn't sure where they came from, either.

The book follows each character separately from the beginning, even though their lives will become intertwined later. Jon is the prime suspect in the of his father's girlfriend, and is on the run from the police, even though Jon and the reader believe the father is the guilty one. David and his friend Karen, who work at the television station, become involved in the reporting of the case. Gradually, the reader comes to know that the murder may be part of something even bigger as the FBI is also involved in the investigation. Jon and David both rely on the messages they receive to guide them.

By the time I reached the end of the book I was still not sure what had happened or why. I could see why some of the more confusing messages to David made sense in light of the big picture, but not how the plot itself was resolved. Although I was sympathetic to both David and Jon, I probably would not read this author again. There are many better books to read. I read this one because it was free.

Text is original and may not be used without permission.
B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved

Image Credit » CCO Public Domain

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Feisty56 wrote on September 29, 2014, 8:59 PM

The readings experiences here must not have been very fulfilling. I'm not sure what drives me to finish reading a book that I am not enjoying, but I usually do. These two books won't make my reading list. Thanks for saving me the time and effort. : )

Uh-hmmm, FOPP tag?

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on September 29, 2014, 9:35 PM

I don't have the time to read as much as I would like. Wasting time on books that don't enlighten, entertain, or touch me in some way is so frustrating.

BarbRad wrote on September 29, 2014, 10:00 PM

I know. I thought about that tag after I posted. I'm getting really absent-minded with so much to do.

BarbRad wrote on September 29, 2014, 10:01 PM

It makes me feel like I've been cheated. Glad to see you back. I just went to your profile to tell you I missed you while you were here commenting, LOL!

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on September 29, 2014, 10:56 PM

I got home late yesterday afternoon from what should have been a 4-hour drive, but traffic was so bad, it took 4 hours just to go the first 60 miles! My week last week was jam-packed with activity, so I allowed myself to be a little lazy today. My bags are still packed, and I've only done two posts, but I did get in some TV time with Guiness.

BarbRad wrote on September 30, 2014, 12:47 AM

I'll bet Guiness was very happy to have you back. He must have been very lonely. Did he welcome you right away or "punish" you for leaving you by ignoring you for a few minutes?

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on September 30, 2014, 3:10 PM

He let me pick him up and love on him right away, but I think he was more interested in supper, and then he immediately claimed the hanging bag I laid on a chair. Since then, he's laid on a tote bag and beside the camera bag and backpack. I think he might be happier to see my luggage than he is me. The bags got the love. I got the sad kitty routine.

AliCanary wrote on September 30, 2014, 6:28 PM

Oh gosh, it's too bad they were least they were short! I'm with you; if I can't find the characters likeable, or at the very least, sympathetic, I can't get into the story. I loved William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, but then I read As I Lay Dying, and I hated everyone in the book. Kinda makes me nervous to read any more Faulkner!

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2014, 12:37 AM

Are you sure he wasn't just trying to weight them down so you'd stay home?

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2014, 12:38 AM

Yeah. Not everything a writer produces is of equal quality.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on October 1, 2014, 1:45 AM

Nah. He just really loves bags of all shapes and sizes.