Genre - Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
60,000 words and 174 pages
Rating 2 stars out of 5 Posted 2/19/2016
Detective Mike Bridger wants to get back with his wife but his job calls him every time they try to get together and discuss their issues. The other woman he's seeing secretly doesn't help his cause either.
A circus comes to town and strange things begin to happen. Can the animal rights group P.A.A.I.N. be responsible for the sudden misfortune or could the circus people be involved?
When a murder is committed, Mike's team is called upon to track down the villain and apprehend the guilty party. But of the multiple suspects, which is the guilty party? Old histories are soon uncovered that only add confusion to a poorly handled investigation.
Mike has additional problems; a new boss revives an old case of a citizen being injured when a younger Mike lost his temper. He then has to deal with an internal investigation during the hunt for a murderer.
The bad news.
The writing is stiff and unrealistic. More contractions would soften the formality of the dialog. The people speaking have a habit of repeatedly saying the name of the person they're addressing. Real people seldom include the name of the other person in one on one conversations with people they know well.
The story needs professional editing for grammar, punctuation and storyline.
When lions, tigers and monkeys were mysteriously released from their cages the police didn't check the cage doors for fingerprints to see if someone other than the circus people opened the doors. And wouldn't the cages of wild animals be locked if they were parked in the middle of a city?
Supposedly someone shortened the ropes of a trapeze and caused a performer to fall. My recollection is that the ropes are positioned so the aerialist can grab them and they are always in the same place and set for the performer who will use them. If a foot or more had been removed the performer should have been instantly aware of it.
Past half way through the story the police finally noticed several CCTV cameras near the crime scene that they had overlooked previously. That was plain incompetency.
The writing style is overly wordy, and many sentences are structured poorly. Bad structure led to the inclusion of commas that would have been unnecessary.
Some of the descriptives were so over the top they became funny: Example – The painted smile looking down at him made the marrow inside his bones shudder. Maybe I've led a sheltered life, but I don't recall the marrow inside my bones shuddering and I can't imagine that happening.
After Bridger is handed a cup of coffee by his devious sex partner he taste something strange in the mix and then begins to hallucinate. He never clearly accepts she drugged him and we never learn why.
Conveniently, the lights in the entire city go out during a jail break, and the emergency light system at the police department fails to come on even though it's tested routinely.
During the course of the story many questions are raised and then never answered; they simply disappear. Patrol officer Jo has issues that are left hanging. The drugging incident slips away. The man who caused damage to the circus is caught before the story ends, but there is no closure. It seems like the author took short cuts to end the story and left everything hanging.
This review was provided in exchange for a free book.
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