Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs at http://judithbarrowblog.com/
Judith has been reading Justifiable Homicide by Gerald Darnell
Justifiable Homicide is the first book I’ve read of Gerald Darnell’s Carson Reno Mysteries. It’s an enjoyable, easy read, a good entertaining mystery of blackmail and murder.
The author has inserted war portraits and photographs, , images, drawings and maps within the text; an unusual but interesting idea. I loved studying these; the people, the clothes, the backgrounds, all helped with giving the settings a sense of place, a flavour of the sixties in Tennessee, USA and of the Second World War.
The idea of interweaving fact and fiction is a fascinating one for me.
I did like the ‘conversational’ writing style of the author which takes the reader along with the plot which is interesting, if rather complex. I sometimes found the plot jumped around a little but like I said, this is the first book I’ve read of this author so perhaps when I try others it’ll be easier for me to get into his way of thinking.
Told initially from an omniscient narrator’s viewpoint the reader is taken directly into the action. The rest of the story is from the first person point of view of the protagonist, Carson of the Drake Detective Agency. Through his eyes we meet a whole host of various other characters, amongst them: Marcie, Alexis Kelley, Joe Richardson, a connection his friend, Jack Logan, Mason Brown, owner of the Peabody Hotel, Sheriff Leroy Epsee, Deputy Nancy Oakland. His descriptions of the personalities of the characters are subjective and tell us more about Carson Reno and his view on the world and the people around him than the characters themselves. But there are some great descriptions of their outward appearances and the dialogue works well to both carry the story along and to give dimensions to each character.
I won’t give any spoilers but here’s the Book Blurb which gives an overview
Carson’s client is suspected of two murders, and desperately needs his help. After a night of drinking she wakes up in a hotel room with a dead man, but claims no memory of the previous night’s events. However, a gun found in the hotel room was used for another murder – used to kill a lawyer at the local Drive Inn Theater. Then…things get worse!
The murder gun belongs to his client’s husband and has her fingerprints all over it. The dead lawyer was blackmailing her and witnesses saw her at both murder scenes.
Interesting and dangerous characters surface, and somehow events from World War Two are playing a part in the mystery. To prove his client innocent, Carson must unravel a complex blackmail scheme and explain a few murders.
Follow Carson as he chases clues trying to solve this old fashion murder mystery. A mystery that has everyone looking the wrong way. This is an unusual case for Carson – a case of Justifiable Homicide.
The only things that slightly spoiled it for me was the formatting which skipped lines and split the occasional words. And sometimes the attributes in the dialogue took me away from the actual words, which was a shame. E.g. ‘snickered,’ ‘sniggered,’ ‘snorted,’.
Other than that, Justifiable Homicide is exactly what the blurb explains; it’s a crime thriller, a mystery to be solved by Carson Reno; it has a satisfying the denouement and I would recommend it for readers who enjoy this genre.
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