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Photo Finish: A McKenna Mystery (Trouble in Paradise Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 266 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
An old guy falling for a young beauty--what's so interesting about that?
For starters, the story is set in Oahu and filled with island sunsets, ocean colors, and trade winds. We are treated to brief historical trivia. And the hero sometimes addresses the reader, explaining local words and phrases so we get a real sense of belonging on the island.
Secondly, Ambrose fashions descriptions that give depth to the storytelling: "Every time her eyelids closed and her facial muscles started to relax, she jerked like a hula-girl doll in the back window of an old Chevy on a bumpy road;" "The air smelled fresh and clear, as though it had taken only a few raindrops to remove the sins of the day."
Thirdly, the hero is a bit naive as the story begins. He is not a cliché, not some hotshot spy or brilliant homicide detective. McKenna's talents are gradually revealed throughout the story until we finally appreciate his ability to piece together clues. We understand his sense of humor and admire his genuine concern for both his best friend and a crabby, hard-of-hearing geezer, Meyer, whose insights help solve the mystery. There is some great dialogue based on the fact that Meyer does not hear words correctly.
Fourthly, except for the suspenseful climax, violence happens off stage.Read more ›
I don't want to give away this novel or the ending so I am going to end this review with this: Photo Finish is a well thought out mystery placed in a beautiful location with characters that will leave you with a sense of having new friends....for life. This story is a must read and I am looking forward to more of Terry Ambrose's future novels!
We are introduced to McKenna, said apartment manager, living his quiet life hiding from the past and stonewalling the future. Until a pretty new tenant moves in and a body gets thrown from an airplane. Photo Finish is not only a story about unravelling a mystery, but also slowly peels away the layers of McKenna's damaged psyche as he learns to begin to live his life again. He's not your stereotypical hero-slash-protagonist, which is refreshing; his weakness for the ladies and self-doubt is endearing.
The story with all of its twists and turns is quite straightforward without a lot of fluff -- no confusing subplots or flowery language here. The author feeds us little bits of Hawaiian culture and language through realistic and funny dialogue. And despite quite a few subtle hints throughout the book, you don't really know how this story is going to end up or where the characters stand until the end, which, in my opinion, is crucial for a mystery novel but seems to be often overlooked by authors. (I find myself knowing exactly how a book is going to end far too often, to my dismay.) This book reminds me of good, solid, old-fashioned mystery writing from back in the day. While the characters spend a lot of time chasing violence, it doesn't happen "on screen" and constantly slap you in the face, so if that's not your thing then this is the book for you.
All in all, this is a solid debut performance by the author. The writing is mature and polished, the plot solid, and the characters well fleshed out and relatable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoy mysteries set in Hawai'i, and this one had interesting characters as well as a good story. I already bought the second book in the series.Published 5 months ago by R. E. Jodoin
Perfect for fans of Hawaii fiction or anybody looking for a fun mystery.Published 9 months ago by Kindle Customer
I did not finish this book.
It was too repetitive and too annoying.
How many times do you need to repeat things, like going to the toilet, ogling a woman, thinking you... Read more
I liked this book mainly because it took place in Hawaii. The story is interesting and I enjoyed references to various places in paradise.Published 14 months ago by Nance
Witty writing.Likable main character and good story line.
Looking foward to reading more Trouble of Paradise novels.
Delightfully drawn characters, a few twists and surprises, good local color and an entertaining read.Published 22 months ago by Judith Hornick