JD Daniels,
Quick Walk to Murder: A Jessie Murphy Murder
(Savvy Press, 2015)

The beginning of JD Daniels' Quick Walk to Murder is enticing, and really sucked me in. Unfortunately, that does not continue.

The setting is good, although -- as with other aspects of the novel -- Daniels does not evoke the area as well as one could hope. The setting does not seem vital to the plot; the story could have happened as easily in Cleveland as south Florida.

The same was true of the characters. As Jessie Murphy's sidekick, Zen ought to have come alive -- and she does not. Everyone, including Jessie, is simply going through the motions that the plot requires.

And the plot does not have that aura of inevitability that a solid mystery plot has. The suspects are varied, and pretty much up to the end, any of them could have worked as well as the next, so the eventual resolution feels arbitrary.

I also was put off by the fact that the author forgot about the rescued -- and then abandoned -- crippled great blue heron, which was not able to be effectively released because it could not fly, so through the neglect of the characters and author, it likely starved to death. If you bring an animal into the plot, authors, DO be sure that its fate is a consideration in the conclusion!

The real problem, though, is that the whole thing just feels increasingly hollow as I read it. As I progressed, I cared less and less about anything in it -- the novel, like the characters, just goes through the motions.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

23 July 2016

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