by Matt L Cost
April 4-29, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
“Sometimes bad genes need to be stamped out and good ones need to be fostered,” Bridget Engel said. “There’s really no difference between mice and human beings when it comes to genes.” She wore a gray suit, and her blonde hair was cut short in the style that Hillary Clinton had made popular.
When Clay Wolfe rekindles an old romance, the summer is looking bright. It wasn’t.
He woke in the middle of the night, gathered his things, and slipped away. After Clay left, Victoria rose from the bed and went into the bathroom, carefully removed the condom from the Kleenex it was wrapped in and put it in a plastic baggie.
Who is the mysterious man who clubs Westy with a hammer and threatens the lives of everybody Clay Wolfe holds dear?
Now, Clive Miller was a fixer. He took care of problems that arose. Once given a task, his hands weren’t tied, and he was well-paid for his troubles. There were two simple rules. Eliminate the problem. Don’t draw attention.
I enjoyed this private eye novel but had mixed feelings about it. The two aspects I liked were the setting and the actual investigation. Cost does a great job of describing Port Essex in Maine, combining physical description with insights into the people and their attitudes. I got a good sense of the atmosphere it the town.
I liked the investigative part of the plot too. I enjoy learning something when I read fiction and this novel was informative about genome testing and engineering as well as eugenics. And I really liked it when the reason for the dead mouse was figured out. I had not thought of that possibility at all.
I found it hard to like Clay, the hero PI. He is not your regular PI. He went for drinks with his friends rather than working the case. There was more about Clay socializing than I wanted to read. He seemed a little slow figuring stuff out too. Another person pointed out to him the guard gone missing and Clay admitted that fact had slipped off his radar. (1718/5465) I'd been wondering when that fact was going to mean something so why wasn't he?
And there is a pet peeve I have about naming characters. One of the writing rules from Jerry Jenkins is to never name characters with the same first letters. With twenty-six letters to choose from, there is no reason to confuse readers with similar names. In this novel, Clay is pitted against Clive, so two initial letters the same. Until I got the two characters definitely distinguished in my mind, that was confusing. And then there were Bolts and Bolton. I really did not like the confusion those names caused me though much of the book.
So I really liked the great establishment of the setting and the informative aspect of the plot. I do think Clay needs some character refinement and I do hope future novels have characters with easily recognized names beginning with different letters of the alphabet.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Published by: Encircle Publications, LLC
Publication Date: April 13, 2022
Number of Pages: 312
ISBN: 1645993299 (ISBN13: 9781645993292)
Series: A Clay Wolfe / Port Essex Mystery Book 3
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
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(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)