“Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”
Zakk reviews A Life Removed by Jason Parent, 290 pages published by Red Adept Publishing, 2017.
Detectives Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Beaudette have put plenty of criminals behind bars. But a new terror is stalking their city. The killer’s violent crimes are ritualistic but seemingly indiscriminate. As the death toll rises, the detectives must track a murderer without motive. The next kill could be anyone… maybe even one of their own. Officer Aaron Pimental sees no hope for himself or humanity. His girlfriend is pulling away, and his best friend has found religion. When Aaron is thrust into the heart of the investigation, he must choose who he will become, the hero or the villain. If Aaron doesn’t decide soon, the choice will be made for him.
I have a hard time getting swept up by novels featuring prominent Law Enforcement type characters. Not for a want of trying. More times than not they come off as any other Cop from any other medium and eventually (usually rather quickly) something strikes me as a Law and Order type moment and I can’t help but to check out. And honestly, I don’t know a thing about Cops on the job. What they think, what they say, how they act. A Life Removed could be spot-on perfect with it’s characterizations of Johnny Law but not one on the enforcer side of the cast stands out as an interesting or memorable character (initially).
What doesn’t help the cause is that all the usual suspects are present and accounted for. Mainly the hard nose detective who doesn’t take shit from anyone and the youthful, intelligent partner who could be a world class detective if they could look past their hope in humanity. The officer losing his faith in life, and losing themselves in the job, yup. The officer who can’t seem to get the job done as expected, check. They don’t so much find clues as have developments fall in their lap.
It didn’t feel like I was given anyone to root for, it really became a matter of who I disliked the least. If only things would have perked up on the “bad guy” side of the narrative. If only I could have found someone there to take sides with. You know what, let me take that back a bit. There are some pretty fun scenes with the antagonists involving the how’s and the why’s of their actions. Including some rather intriguing backstory that immediately snared me with a fish hook, catching my interest. But that hook gets gently removed when this backstory fails to amount to anything other than an interesting tidbit. While other developments that feel as though they’re going to pull the curtain back on a mystery end up falling flat.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this book. There are some cool bits here and there, mostly dealing with the attacks, but it’s not enough to carry the novel. There is very little intrigue, no mystery, which is something I want in police drama. And any sort of momentum built by the antagonist’s motivations is deflated by their mastermind. I was excited to read A Life Removed unfortunately I had a difficult time staying involved with it.
Mr. Parent, I know that you can thrill me, you have before. This just wasn’t the one to bring it home. Next time.
Scope out the Free Sample function from Amazon, it’s a super useful tool. From there you can determine if this book is for you.
Entertainment Value (Because the kids like numbers)
I’m going to have to say 2/ 5
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
**Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and/ or publisher and I am reviewing it voluntarily. These are my honest, unbiased feelings. I did not receive any sort of compensation.
Jason Parent, Biography
In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. Formerly from the Southeastern Massachusetts region, he recently moved to Rhode Island to be near his work.
In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it’s harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he’s back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that’s another story.
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