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Shattered Lens, Catherine Winter, Private Investigator (Catherine Winter Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 184 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
The timeline was off in places. Pendelton mentions a character who's been on the police force for over 20 years, but he's not quite 40. Child prodigy?
The setting, Hollywood/Southern California, didn't play much of a role in the story. Yes, there was mention of actors and films, but this could have been set in any large city without making much of a difference. If a location is important enough to identify, a polished writer will make it almost a character in the book. Read any of J.A. Jance's or Janet Evanovich to see how location is an integral part of the story.
There were numerous places that were wordy, repetitive, or common knowledge that should have been cut. One of the more egregious is this passage: "One thing I've noticed in dining alone, is you either receive good or bad service depending on the personality of the waitress. I would guess they figure someone alone is not going to tip too well, so too often they don't give the best of service. I do tip well if the service is good." This could be said of any dining experience. It didn't need to be spelled out.
Character development was lacking in some places, with many of the supporting characters interchangeable. The primary lack of character development was the main character, Catherine Winters. I found her character to be inconsistent. While I think a PI can be both tough and vulnerable, Catherine was all over the place. Pendelton's previous writing focus has been on spirituality; perhaps Pendelton could create a PI who is more into New Age spirituality, rather than just mentioning it here and there.
Finally, I thought it was unrealistic for Catherine to work on the murder alongside the police, as she often tells witnesses etc. When the murder occurs in the parking lot of the deceased, Catherine is up in the apartment before the police and questions the roommate and wanders around the apartment handling items. The police tell her any and all the information as soon as they learn it, treating her as if she is a fellow officer.
There are a lot of sexual and violent implications but nothing graphic. It was refreshing to read a book that didn't go into the minute details of a sexual experience.
This is an okay book for reading on a plane or at the beach, but it's not as well developed as it could have been. Perhaps Pendelton will improve as a detective writer. She does have potential.
Linda's characters were well developed and the plot was intriguing. Catherine Winter is a smart, funny, no nonsense investigator, yet sensuous and sexy in her sixties. She proves that not all PI work is glitz and glamour. Hard work prevails as she unravels the clues in this fast moving mystery.
The late Richard S. Prather was right, "Shattered Lens" is a brilliant debut.
I'm a fan.
author of "Bodies and Beaches" and "Corpses and Canyons"
What makes the book so pleasurable to read outside of the brisk pace is that nothing comes easy for Winter. She has to "earn" it in the same way that Linda has earned her right to sit at the top with today's other crime writers. The inside look at Hollywood and surrounding areas rings with authenticity. As a writer, I've often been disappointed in a lot of mysteries on the shelf but I knocked this one out in no time at all. Yeah, it was just that easy. Part police procedural, part hardboiled, and all entertaining, this one's a keeper.
The character Catherine Winter is brilliant, the mystery is compelling and will keep you guessing right down to the end. There were quite a few different choices as to who the bad guy was, that kept me jumping to conclusions far before I should have. But that's a great thing- I hate books that are predictable, and this one wasn't. There were a lot of different things going on, that all lead to a shocking conclusion. I will be reading more from Linda Pendleton!
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