Saturday, June 11, 2016

Review of COLD JUSTICE: Rayven T. Hill

Mystery / Thriller
Date Published: August 11, 2014

Late one night, an emotionally disturbed woman, Abigail Macy, witnesses a murder. She reports what she saw to the police, but out of fear the killer will return to eliminate her as a witness, she keeps quiet about his identity. When the police investigate her claim, they find no evidence of a crime and, influenced by her psychiatrist’s diagnosis that she was delusional, they close the case.
      Abigail’s condition deteriorates, and she shuts herself away, withdrawn and distraught, refusing to speak to anyone except the occasional word to her husband. To ease her tormented mind, he hires private investigators Jake and Annie Lincoln to find a supposed killer, with no proof one exists.
      When Abigail is found dead two days later, the coroner rules her death a suicide, but the Lincolns aren’t convinced. Now, with the only witness dead, unraveling the truth and finding a murderer becomes even more challenging.
      The Lincolns find themselves in danger of being the killer’s next victims as they are drawn into a perilous web of lies, deceit and cover-ups.


Quick, Light Read

Abigail Macy is having a  bad night. She’s still grieving over the death of a child and heads to the bar to shake loose from some of the pain, but on the way home—she witnesses a murder. While she doesn’t recognize the victim, she does the killer, and unfortunately, the killer recognizes her.  But with no evidence of a crime having occurred, and Abigail being inebriated, the police are reticent to believe her story. It’s when her husband decides to get involved and hire intrepid detectives Annie and Jake Lincoln to find out the truth.

COLD JUSTICE by Rayven T. Hill starts out promising. I loved this premise. Someone seeing a murder and no one believing her instantly got me rooting for the pair of detectives to untangle what was going on and help the woman suffering the loss of a child. It’s my kind of book, and I should have enjoyed a lot more than I did.

What stopped me? All the harebrained, downright stupid things many, many characters did. Yes, it wasn’t just one person not using their noodle, it was multiple characters—on multiple occasions. For instance, you’re going to meet with the person you know is a murderer—you have positive proof, so you: (1) call the police so they can arrest him; or (2) meet in an uber crowded place where you know nothing can go wrong and where you can’t possibly end up the next victim; or (3) meet in the dead of night at a deserted location where no one can hear you scream? It seems obvious what any reasonable person would choose, but none of the characters are reasonable and it’s sometimes a problem with action-driven writing.

Sometimes an author becomes enamored with having a certain plot twist happen on a certain page, and rather than take the time to organically grow a situation where this incident would develop, they wrench a character from where he would naturally go to where they want him to go through a preposterous scenario … like meeting a murderer in a deserted location in the dead of night. The thing is that the author could just have easily had them meet at a crowded location, and had the killer trail the person home. It would have added intelligence to the plot, and given the killer the ability to identify and track the person they most want to eliminate. It would have also given the reader a plausible plotline to follow.

I’m making such a fuss because there were a lot of things I did like about COLD JUSTICE. For one, the writing. It’s solid without a lot of flourishes. It also has flow and holds a reader’s attention. There’s also the premise of the story. As mentioned, it’s more than good. Throw in the central characters, The Lincolns, and you’ve got the makings of what should have been a sensational read. It’s a shame because there’s a real likability about Annie and Jake, but they can’t behave like six-year-old children hyped up on sugar. Likability will only take someone so far.

Because of all of the above, COLD JUSTICE is a mixed bag of tricks. I feel the writer has talent, I’d urge him to give more thought to the situations he plops these characters into. There’s nothing wrong with being action-driven. There’s a heck of a lot of notable authors out there using it to sell a boatload of books and to entertain their audience, but those authors also go the distance in making sure everything makes sense and reads logically.

COLD JUSTICE rates a 3.0 from me. I would recommend it for those wanting a very light, quick, easy read and for those that don’t mind completely implausible situations from developing.

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