Chopped: A Diana Hunter Mystery (Diana Hunter Mystery Series) Paperback – April 27, 2017
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"This book deserves more than the max five stars."
"The best one yet!"
"Yet another amazing read...I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series and find out what happens next!"
"Many, many thanks for a truly great read."
"Great story. Great characters. Loved it."
"I loved the book and the character you have developed in Diana."
"Oh my gosh! I just finished Stolen and now can't wait to read the other books in this series. I loved it and it sure kept me on my toes......"
"This was so well written and edgy. I had a hard time putting it down. I loved the danger, the characters were all people I could relate to and I enjoyed the descriptions, they jumped of the page into my imagination. Well done."
From the Author
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This is my first Diana Hunter Mystery though it's obviously not the first one in the series. Based on all the rave reviews, I was expecting more from this novel. In the beginning interactions between the main characters are over-stated. For example: "she barked", "she growled", "she snapped", "She glared at him", "she hissed". These reactions to her partner are evident throughout the storyline and a bit over the top. If these characteristics are intended to set the mood, they have done so but with a negative reaction. It was hard to warm to Diana and while I felt like the author wanted us to get to know her and (her partner) Peter better, their personalities were somewhat flat and one dimensional.
They presumably are on a case to find the killer of a man who is beheaded and his fingerprints are seared off. With these clues and I assume the "tox" screen on the victim, Diana immediately knows the identity of the killer, has had past experience with him, and gives an interview designed to draw out the killer--'Surgeon' (as he is known in police parlance). Though he failed to destroy Diana during their first encounter, she is convinced that he won't miss the opportunity to try again. The original headless victim is none other than 'Surgeon's' mentor, Garibaldi.
A hint at a political hit courtesy of potential Islamic terrorists seems to be off the table as they focus their attention on capturing 'Surgeon'. So while there appeared to be some serious investigative work and situation assessment necessary, this line never really goes any where. Instead Diana sets herself up as bait to draw out 'Surgeon' and her ploy works. By now half the book is over without much action and what appears to be a rocky relationship among various agencies as well as amongst Diana's own team. Not knowing Diana or Peter's backstory is troubling as it would seem more attention on the political targets and the terrorists would be central to the investigation, instead all future paths forward depend on getting 'Surgeon'. The story takes an interesting twist when Diana is abducted by 'Surgeon'. Her capture by 'Surgeon', at first appeared sloppy on their part, but we later learn that Diana's team had it all worked out, even without the complete knowledge (by her partner) of all aspects. Her time spent in captivity, as she undergoes a planned discussion is designed to ensnare 'Surgeon'.
After Diana is hailed by her work partners as a champ, she is suddenly confronted by 'Surgeon' again. It would seem, though the reader is never informed how, 'Surgeon', after being used by the CSIS and others to gain information, has somehow escaped and is waiting for Diana at her apartment. One would think his escape would draw forth an APB and that Diana and Peter would be the first to know. Diana reflects once she arrives home, that the outside of her apartment is dark and she will need to get this situation fixed. It never occurs to her that there may be cause for concern that her bodyguards are missing and the lighting outside has been eliminated. The finale is somewhat anti-climatic as its Diana's terrier that attacks 'Surgeon' (biting his ankle) and distracts him enough and this gives Peter time to shoot and wound and eventually capture the assassin.
This book just left me uninspired. I didn't feel close to any of the characters and in fact, found myself not particularly liking Diana, the heroine. The way the ending was written, it appears some of the issues will likely be resolved in future novels. I will leave that to the many fans of Alison Golden.
I think this is my favorite of all 3 series and that is saying a lot because I love the other two series as well.
This book continues the story of Diana Hunter and the characters and relationships are developed a bit more in each book, leaving you anxious for the next book to come out for more. The writing is excellent and the characters are very easy to become wrapped up with. Each book reveals a bit more about Diana and her partner Peter (and the fierce and adorable Max) and I absolutely couldn't put these books down once I started. I can't wait for the next one to find out what happens next.
If you like mysteries, do yourself a favor and check out this series beginning with Hunted, Snatched, and Stolen and continued with this book, Chopped. There are twists and turns and it will keep you on the edge of your seat, all the while drawing you into the action and the lives of the main characters. An absolute home run!!!
Alison Golden is an amazing author. She also has 2 other series that fall into the cozy mystery genre. You are going to want to check them all out! If you subscribe to her newsletter, I think you get the first book in each series for free! She is definitely an author to add to your MUST READ list! Each series is awesome, as is book #4, which I easily give a rating of 5/5 stars! I'm sure after reading, you will agree!
Thank you for reading my review. :-)
Top international reviews
The characters are outstanding and the plot is superb, I particularly like the relationship between Diana and her partner Peter, which has the added twist that Diana is the far more qualified and experienced agent. The 'baddie' Surgeon is also a great invention and is suitably clever and scary.
There is one negative aspect of this book for me and that is the ending of this book being effectively the start of the next book, so it is not a self-contained stand-alone book, but will leave you desperate to get the next one.
The next book is set up, so please Alison Golden, write it quickly!!!