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Mourn The Living by [Perez, Henry]
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Mourn The Living Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Length: 417 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran Chicago Record reporter Alex Chapa is looking forward to a much needed vacation and time with his 10-year-old daughter, Nikki, whom he barely sees now that his ex has moved to Boston. Then his boss calls him back to cover for Jim Chakowski, killed in a mysterious explosion. As Alex digs into Chakowski's notes linking a string of murders to prominent city council members, he and Nikki come under fire. Short, choppy chapters move the action along at a measured clip, and detailed descriptions infuse the text with atmosphere and suspense, especially during flashbacks to Alex's childhood in Cuba and the murderer's dark and traumatic upbringing. The killer's identity is no surprise, but the final showdown keeps the adrenaline pumping right through the ending, which Perez (Killing Red) leaves wide open for possible sequels.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1125 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle; 1 edition (July 22, 2010)
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003IYI840
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,384 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A serial killer is on the prowl and only suburban Chicago newspaper reporter Alex Chapa seems to be taking the matter seriously. As he investigates, he is drawn further into the terrifying world of the killer. At the same time he is balancing the pull of his personal life, a loving girlfriend and the attention required by his ten-year-old daughter visiting from Boston.

The premise is great. I liked the development of the Alex Chapa character. His girlfriend, Erin, never grew beyond cardboard. However, the serial killer character was truly chilling. Unfortunately, the book has its problems. It is a sequel and that may create some of the issues. For example, apparently the police do not like Alex Chapa due to some past interactions, but what happened? There is no explanation.

The biggest problem is that the story just does not hang together. Overall it is a let down. There are too many suspects and not enough details about any one of them or memorable interactions with any one of them to make the ultimate revelation of the killer's identity particularly credible.

Although there are many positives to this book, overall I cannot recommend it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Private investigators are almost naturally a staple of mystery and thriller fiction. Newspaper reporters are as well, given their similarities to PIs. Individuals in both occupations ask questions, kick rocks over, draw conclusions, and report what they find. And the more that you act like you have something to hide, the more likely it is that you will attract their attention.

Henry Perez has worked as a newspaper reporter and thus knows well the territory that his novels explore. In MOURN THE LIVING, he brings back Alex Chapa (introduced in his debut, KILLING RED), who must balance real-world personal concerns with his professional duties. Perez does not sugarcoat the current state of affairs in the newspaper industry. Indeed, the declining fortunes of newspapers, coupled with the quiet threat to Chapa's reporting job at the Chicago Record, constitute a quietly menacing element throughout the novel. At the same time, Chapa is on the horns of a personal dilemma, one that is exacerbated by his professional circumstances.

As MOURN THE LIVING commences, Chapa is just beginning a week-long visit with his young daughter Nikki when he is called off of his scheduled vacation time. Jim Chakowski, the star investigative reporter for the Chicago Record, has been killed in an apparent accident, and Chapa is called back to fill in the gap. Erin Sinclair, Chapa's love interest, is more than willing to pick up the slack and entertain Nikki during the day while Chapa is working. But he finds himself confronted with the possibility that Chakowski's death was not accidental. Chakowski, in fact, was working on a story that involved a series of apparently unrelated murders in the area that may have involved a number of other killings spread out over time and distance.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This thriller has a compelling main character. The minor characters are realistic - painfully so at times. The interactions with the daughter are touching. The relationships between Chapa and the ladies in his life are suspenseful and of interest. Suspense builds from the first page. The novel soars when it touches on real life, from Chapa as a child to his relationship with his daughter.

The negatives are the flip side thriller unreality. The FBI and local cops seem unrealistically dense at times, and helpfully subordinate at other times. Then there is unlawful brutality to a journalist, s if lawsuits do not exist. The villain is not so shocking. Actually, he was just another potential and colorless possibility. Aspects of the plot stretch credulity. Still, well above average.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first third or so of this book had me thinking it would be a 5-star read. The premise is interesting, with the decline of the newspaper business, small town politics, and a vigilante killer. I liked Alex's character and was with him in his quest for answers.

At least that's how I felt at the start. Then things started to unravel and severely stretched credibility. Apparently, every cop in the town either hates Alex and wants to see him suffer, or is completely inept. Or both. Alex becomes some sort of superhero, able to survive and conquer most anything. He seems to be the only person able to put the pieces together and no one wants to believe he's onto something. He needs to do the cops' job as well as his own in order to save the world. That's how the second half felt to me. I had to force myself to keep reading and to stop rolling my eyes.

Another issue I had with this book is a stylistic choice of the author. Perez writes in the traditional third person past tense for most of the book, but the killer's parts are written in first person present tense. I am not a fan of the switch in tenses. In general, I do not like first person present tense, and I find the switch in tenses throughout a story jolting. It can feel like two completely different stories when done this way.

Overall, while the plot is interesting and the writing itself is good, I found the story and characters stretched credibility to the point of fantasy.
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