J.R. Lindermuth,
Something in Common
(Whiskey Creek, 2006)

I liked this murder-mystery for its characters George and Linda. These former penpals made a strange combination -- a lonely but slightly perverted/introverted young man and a young, naive, cigarette-smoking, stranger-to-America Asian girl. She has traveled to the U.S. to marry George, but quickly, too quickly, they are drawn apart and the threads of their story unravel.

Other characters take part in the story: the young, sympathetic but new-to-town preacher, the two police chiefs of reversed importance, elderly widows and stray dogs that are often the plot's catalysts, arriving on the scene at just the right time to keep the mystery rolling along, or be uncovered, you might say.

Some characters step in and out of the story like pieces on a game board, viewed in your consciousness only when it's your turn to move.

The plot, setting and characters are ripe and wonderful. They just need a little pectin to hold them all together. I would really like to read this book again after it's been given a thorough editing to remove a series of minor irritants that distract a reader.

Simple breaks in logic disengage a reader from the story. For instance, "There had been a heavy shower overnight. The grass glistened with dew." A reader might pause to clarify, "Is the grass wet with rain, or with dew?" And the poor reader is now disengaged.

This is a good story, and the author deserves another round of editing to make it more palatable.

review by
Virginia MacIsaac

28 July 2007

what's new