Two Mini Mystery Book Reviews
Over the weekend I read two rather short mysteries . 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 characters , but the plot 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 murder 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
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