Killer Twist – A Ghostwriter Mystery (Book 1) – C.A. Larmer
While it opens like a rather mediocre episode of popular crime dramas such as CSI or NCIS, the occasional ‘break out’ moment of author Larmer make this an compelling choice for a new reader.
Killer Twist is an interesting find that happened to be free when I was done with my last Kindle reading choice. The cover design is what first attracted me to the novel and the ‘FREE’ price point didn’t make me hesitate.
If I can get reading material for free, I will probably take it. It’s one of my ‘problems’ that my wife and I have discussed in the past. Normally, stuff that I get for ‘free’ is garbage and I am told to throw it out. The wonderful thing about E-Books (and my Kindle App) is that, even if the novel is trash, it doesn’t take up room in my house. This makes my wife happy and, therefore, me happy.
Fortunalty, Killer Twist proved to be an interesting story. It opens, as is standard with many mysteries, with a short introduction to the first victim and then an introduction to our narrator Roxy Parker. Roxy is a ghostwriter (no, not the one from the TV show) who specializes in autobiographies. Her most recent customer, Beatrice Musgrave, apparently commits suicide shortly thereafter. Roxy, of course, doubts the police version of events and decides to mount an investigation of her own since something about the death just doesn’t add up in her mind.
In the course of her investigation she manages to discover several unknowns about Ms. Beatrice, including the possibility of an illegitimate child and an affair. Roxy also manages to become infatuated with her local friend, Max.
Yeah – it sounds like the opening to a rather bland episode of NCIS; you know the kind. One where Abby only gets about 5 minutes of screen time and we spend the rest of the episode watching Ziva and Tony flirt.
Fortunatly, Max makes up for this in being an interesting, if incompetent, character. She makes more mistakes than most of the detectives I read about in the genre. She falls for each of the ‘classic’ blunders at least once in the course of the story. But she handles them well and, occasionally, Larmer breaks out of the mold and does some fantastic introspection on Roxie’s part.
Those break-out points are what take this story out of the pile of mediocre that a new mystery can become and really makes them shine. Some of the insights Roxie shares takes her out of her ‘spunk’ and really gives us an interesting insight to a character whose depth is not really explored and whose capabilities are not really pushed or tested. When they are, Larmer either hits a high note and breaks out or takes a classic cliché and bumps it juuuuust far enough out of alignment to make it interesting. The split in this book, the first in a series, is about 50/50 which isn’t bad, but I’m hoping that future entries in the titles make it so that the ratio changes too favor these break outs.
On the whole, Killer Twist is a good set up and does the job of introducing the character well and establishing the ‘status’ of everything quickly and easily. It doesn’t move slowly, and it is always moving forward – a real plus on the whole. I highly recommend the book at its Kindle price of ‘FREE’ and would hold that recommendation until about the $3.00 point.
A Link to Purchasing the Product: Purchase on the Amazon Kindle Store