Monday, July 4, 2016

I received this book from Amazon to read and review as part of the Amazon Vine program. The Murder That Never Was: A Forensic Instincts Novel by Andrea Kane, published by Bonnie Meadow Publishing, (c) 2016, ISBN 9781682320006, Hard cover with dust jacket, 382 pages. This is the review I wrote:


This was my first book by this author, Andrea Kane. Apparently the book is the fifth in the Forensic Instincts series. On the dust jacket, they give short terms to classify each member of the FI team. It reminded me of the TV show Scorpion and each of those geniuses’ particular skills. The book did give some background on the team and bit about they have done in the past, but not so much that you felt like half the book was taken up with retelling the first book. In some respects, I felt like I was having to juggle too many main characters in my head. Generally, in most detective type books, there is one or at most two people working their way through to a resolution of a crime. In this book, there were 6 people plus a dog on the main team and then add in several boyfriends, girlfriends, wives and brothers and team grows. Two of the women’s names started with the same letter so for about half the book I kept mixing up Casey and Clair in my head. Then add in the clients, three more people. The ‘bad’ guys numbered six named individuals. There were a lot of folks to remember. I think this is why, even though the story itself was interesting, I wasn’t devouring the book at my usual pace.
Much of the team’s actions revolved around one guy, Ryan, and his remarkable computer skills including hacking. Another team member, Claire who could see into the past by holding onto an object of another person and could feel and see them in their distress. There were several scenes of couples having sexual marathons and thank goodness the author didn’t feel the need to describe them in detail, but in my opinion they didn’t add a thing to the story.
Perhaps if I had read the first book in this series, I would have been able to identify with the characters better, but somehow I felt something was missing from the book that I can’t put my finger on. Not saying the book was bad, it did have an interesting story involving athletes working towards the prize of a place on the Olympic team and performance enhancing drugs (PED). Something else that I had to figure out for myself. Unless I missed it, from the beginning of the book they referred to PEDs but it was many chapters later that you understood what those letters stood for. In this case if you aren’t into sports or sports news, this would perhaps go right over your head. For those that have missed being able to ‘boo hiss’ at Russians (in novels) since the USSR dissolved there is even an evil Russian to hate in the story.

This is one of those books that you want to be enthusiastic about. It has a different slant on a topic that would be very newsworthy if the book were true. It lightly touches on what some children go through as part of the foster care programs. There is a competent team of detectives racing time to solve the mystery, yet it just didn't highly impress me and I gave it 4 out of five stars. If you read it, perhaps you could comment on your take on the story or any of the other books in this series.

All the books in this series are available on the Kindle. Don't have one? Today is a great day to buy one. I thought I wouldn't like one and would miss the feel of a book. Believe me, when reading on my Kindle I don't miss the feel of a books in my hands at all as I didn't realize how much of my hand pain was associated with holding  a book open, especially a paperback.

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