dead days of summer
beaches, boardwalks and the promise of carefree summer days mark the start of tourist season in the small, scenic town Ocean Point, new jersey. but this scene is marred suddenly by the body of a young woman found bludgeoned to death. Its the first ina string of seemingly random, senseless murders, the only connection being the odd postitioning of the victims fingers
Beaches, boardwalks and the promise of carefree summer days mark the start of tourist season in the small, scenic town of Ocean Point, New Jersey. But this scene is marred suddenly by the body of a young woman found bludgeoned to death. It's the first in a string of seemingly random, senseless murders, the only connection being the odd positioning of the victims' fingers.
It's a crisis that puts local detective Mitch Burns on edge. Murder in a peaceful beach town is bad enough, but a serial killer at the height of tourist season is worse. Much worse. Newly hired local reporter Elise Jenkins cuts her journalistic teeth on this one - especially when her search for the truth leads her on a dangerous hunt for the killer with a face whose familiarty masks deadly intent.
BACK OF BOOK
Detective Mitch Burns is on the hunt for a serial killer in a small town in southern Jersey. He is helped by reporter Elise Jenkins who finds a lead in the investigation which opens the door for Mitch. This is a romantic suspense novel but the "romance" between Mitch and Elise never gets beyond a few dates not even a single kiss. So much more a mystery than a romance. I found the life of a reporter to be boring and tedious. I'm not at all interested in small town life and found these parts of the story irrelevant to the mystery itself.
I found the story line and writing style to be fairly simplistic. While the plot premise is good, the "humorous" quips weren't funny, and the dialog was anything but snappy. It read as if it had been written by a rather unworldly early twentysomething. There was no sex or cursing, and so much religion in the book, that I wondered if I'd picked up Christian fiction.
Originally published as Jury of One, Deadly Readings is a good solid debut mystery. The book's Jersey Shore setting rang true to this fan of Chris Grabenstein's Ceepak and Boyle mysteries. When tourist dollars are involved, solving crime quickly is the name of the game.
Elise Jenkins and Mitch Burns are the two main characters in this book, and they are almost too good to be true. I almost wanted to rough them up with a fault or two to make them more realistic. However, what really frosted my cake was the fact that the newspaper Elise works for is 100% ethical, and this proves that paying attention to the real world has made me too jaded and cynical.
But you know what? It was nice reading about a newspaper staff that believed finding a killer was more important than the headlines it could grab. It was nice reading about a newspaper reporter who worked with the police instead of against them. Although whodunit was a bit too easy to deduce and there were a couple of questionable procedural issues in Deadly Readings, it was still an enjoyable read for this old cynic. I may just have to track down more books in this series!