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The Truth About Alex (Montana Marrenger Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 102 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The premise should tug at anybody’s heartstrings, and give you a little mystery to boot. A body of an old man is found under some cliffs, but his identity checks out to be from a missing teenager. The whole case tumbles from there, feeding you a little bit at a time so you’re hooked, but with short chapters that gets things moving. This was very well done, because the relatively dry procedural stuff has a great payoff, but doesn’t hint at it so much. Every so often you get a little flashback into what happened to Alex that just teases the next chapter, which adds the human element to the the police characters.
That’s important to say, because they can seem a little uncaring at first, and that’s not the characters’ fault, but the nature of the medium. The only problem of TTAA is the length. As an indie book, I can understand why the story was wrapped up in novella form: easy to read as an ebook, easy to pick up by readers. Twists and turns happen very quickly. But the length does a disservice to a story rich in personal tragedy, legal nuance and personal choice. Montana is a wonderful character, just rebellious enough to be interesting and conflicted, but I wish there was more that fleshed out her personal investment in Alex’s fate. The ending could also have been foreshadowed more clearly. However, given its length, the opening transports you instantly into the scene, great example of efficient detective writing.
Griffith gets the details right. The case is touching, and digs at the darkness of the everyday, even if the length sometimes leaves you gasping for more. Fans of police procedurals will either be comforted by the accuracy or annoyed at the primer, but either way they’ll definitely get sucker-punched by the story’s myriad turns. A really fun read, and a great intro to a fantastic author!
For full transparency, I arranged to review Alex as part of a trade of reviews with the author. We agreed to be as honest and constructive as possible =)
Once again we connect with Marrenger, the investigating lead on the case, discover a little more about her, and to be honest - I can't wait for the next book with her in it. She has style and gumption that any main lead needs in a well paced crime investigation book.