Friday, October 04, 2019

In a Word: Meh

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When a body is found in the small town of Portland, Pennsylvania, it's obvious the dead man has been the victim of a brutal murder.  The crime bears an eerie resemblance to a 20-year-old killing, a cold case that has never been solved.  Since the locals are notoriously unwilling to talk to outsiders, Portland native Parker Reed is assigned as lead detective on the case.  

Becca Kingsley, another native, returns to her hometown around the same time to care for her estranged father, who is now dying of cancer.  As she rekindles her friendship with Parker, her best friend and unrequited high school crush, old feelings quickly surface.  But with the murder investigation turning up old rumors and long-buried secrets, Becca begins to question everything and everyone she's ever known.  The killer is likely someone local.  But, who?  The more Parker and Becca uncover, the more dangerous life in Portland becomes for them ...

I usually love thrillers like River Bodies, the first in a new series by Karen Katchur, but sadly, this one left much to be desired.  The characters are mostly unlikeable, which makes them difficult to connect and empathize with.  I found the motorcycle gang, both its members and its activities, especially cliché and far-fetched.  In addition, since we know from the outset who the murderer is, the book lacks suspense—a key element in a compelling thriller.  The novel's overall vibe is sad, depressing, and overall, kind of pointless.  That being said, I did find myself invested enough in the story to finish the book, but I can't say it was a satisfying read because it just ... wasn't.  Needless to say, I won't be moving on with the series.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other small-town mystery/thriller series, although no specific titles are coming to mind)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a few F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. Not connecting with characters is a death sentence for a book!

  2. Too bad. Sounds like this one could have been good.

  3. Hmmm...I think I've been aware of this one vaguely. It looked like one I'd enjoy. If I remember, I probably won't try it. That being said, I might because I might forget your thoughts on it. LOL

  4. The words "that being said" are a sure sign that there's a whole lot more wrong with a book than right with it. I have used the phrase often when grasping for some kind of a positive thing to say. :-)

  5. I love that you said "Meh." That pretty much sums it up. P.S. I do like the cover, though.


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