|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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A Journal of Sin (A Sarah Gladstone Thriller Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 281 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Although Sarah is the big reason why I enjoyed the novel, I liked many details of the murder case, and the way Darryl created two-sided characters who make you second-guess who the murderer really is.
Darryl's writing is excellent, skillfully switching different points of view in the novel.
I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys crime fiction and reading about strong women.
Author Darryl Donaghue debuts on the crime scene (pun intended) with the first book in the Sarah Gladstone series, offering an extremely interesting situation: In a small town cut off from the world by a terrible storm, a priest is murdered, leaving behind a journal containing the congregation’s confessions. Naturally, the townsfolk are none too happy. As tensions build up and the threat of further violence increases, PC Sarah Gladstone is left to track down the murderer and keep the situation from deteriorating into a frenzy.
This is a well written story with a very realistic feel, no-doubt an effect of the author’s real-life experience as a detective. The attention to detail and procedure greatly added to the quality of the narration and I particularly liked the interaction between PC Gladstone and her superior, Dales.
I was very fond of Sarah, who strayed from the usual main character mold of a crime book and was very sympathetic as the inexperienced but ambitious underdog. Her interactions with her mother felt endearingly sincere and I’m looking forward to finding out more about her personal life in the next book. A well-rounded character, definitely deserving of her own series.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I’m excited for the next installment.
Going on instinct, she finds the priest's journals hidden in his residence, and as word leaks out it seems an awful lot of people in town want to read them. The situation goes from bad to worse when the priest is found dead, with obvious signs of torture. As the village's isolation continues, her list of chores gets longer: preserve the body with no electricity, calm an increasingly irate village, and try to keep the villagers from acting on their suspicions.
I did like the story, I thought the plot was realistic, and the characters interesting. Where I had issues was in the formatting of the book. There are no breaks to show change of character, or change of scene. That led to constant confusions. For instance, this bit: "He's a nasty piece of work and, believe me, he definitely won't like you." Next sentence: "He's a very kind man. He takes the time to listen to you.." As I read on I realized the scene had changed from Sarah talking to one man to her interviewing a group, from hearing about one of the nastier villagers to hearing about the priest. Another time, she is interviewing one of her suspects, saying, "I'm more of a Merlot girl." Next line: "St Peter's was more bog than woodland." A third example, the village drunk is leaving the bar with the village loose woman. "'Don't forget your wallet,' she said, picking it up from the bar and putting it in her handbag." Next line: "Sarah stood outside the gate." She's not even looking at the house of either character from the preceding paragraph. A break as simple as an extra line tossed in between would have solved the confusion of scene and character changes that runs throughout the entire book. Trying to figure out what was going on and how it related to the previous paragraph took me out of the book and I had to figure out what was going on repeatedly before I could get back into the flow of the story.
I hope the author inserts breaks between scenes for his next books, because it would have made following the story much easier.
One other minor peeve: Way too many characters' names start with the same letter. Sarah, Sally, Sean, Suzanne, Steve, Stockton, Sam. Even the village was Sunbury.