Friday, November 28, 2014

Immoral by Brian Freeman - Book Review

In Immoral, Detective Jonathan Stride is faced with a second case of a teenage girl named Rachel who may have been murdered by a serial killer. This was after another teenage girl may have been murdered as well named Kerry McGrath. While the premise of the story sounds compelling, the writer did a poor job of plotting the story, thus making it a mess. 
My feeling is that when you have a murder mystery, you have a homicide detective who is supposed to be solving these murders based on clues that he has that would lead him to the killer. Along the way, there would be suspects as well as a timeline that takes place in the present. Not doing that created a lot of problems.
You could start by saying that the point of view constantly changed throughout this novel. At times, the writer even went into the inner thoughts of suspects and people who had already died. Then during the last part of the story, more characters were introduced, making the novel more fractured. While it wasn’t confusing, the story would have been better if it started as a cold case in Vegas. Then the point of view could have stayed with Jonathan Stride for the entire time.
Instead, the story started in Minneapolis. Among other things, this created a three year time line which I have never seen in a murder mystery. If a murder is solved, it should be done in the present, making the story cleaner in any case since Stride will be going back in time along with his partner, Serena, to investigate the murder. Since that wasn’t done, the author introduced Serena towards the end of the novel, making her a major character in the story when this should have happened in the beginning if the story was done as a cold case. 
If the story took place in Vegas in the beginning, then this would have solved the other problems like seeing Stride in a relationship that was on a three year time line. Starting in the present in Vegas would have made the story better to follow since he could have going back in time to talk about his romance with Andrea. 
Putting these problems aside, it seemed to me that the author was making the impression that Stride and the DA were incompetent because it was questionable that there should have been a trial since the DA didn’t have enough evidence or a body. If the story started in Vegas, there could have been an examination of a trial and at the very least, evidence could have been used in the story and we would go back in time and make it look as though the case reached its proper conclusion and Stride would be the one showing how the trial reflected the problems that this created for Grame, one of the characters in the story. 
By the end of the story, we saw the author going into the inner thoughts of people who were already killed in order to piece all this together. Again, if the story started in Vegas, then all that could have been avoided since Stride could have been the one going back to link the murders based on the people that he questioned. 
Other problems on a more minor level if you want to call it that were having strangers find the evidence such as a bracelet rather than someone who worked for the police. Then we had drawn out scenes where strangers were finding bodies by urinating on them. I don’t think authors like Michael Connelly would do that. 
I should have stopped reading this story when the author made Rachel an evil character by being responsible for a dog being killed when it was hit by a car. Rachel’s character was already developed and the author didn’t need to do that. Instead I was foolish enough to read this fractured novel that had no structure or consistent point of view because the plot was written in a poor manner. A simple adjustment would have made this a better story to follow so that’s the major reason I’m giving this book one star. 

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