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June 1, 2016

Title: Hell's Bells

Author: J. M. Smith

Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Thriller

Audience: Adult

Word Count: 67322


In Smith's run-of-the-mill murder mystery set in Hell's Kitchen, librarian turned private detective Jackie Trueheart must investigate a spate of killings by a hatchet-wielding madman known as The Jackal. Although the novel is well plotted, the story has a paint-by-numbers quality that readers will find vaguely familiar. Plucky Jackie Trueheart is a well-developed character, but the villainous Jackal is merely caricature of evil. As the story races to inevitable conclusion, readers will find themselves rooting for Trueheart but finding few surprises along the way.


  • Plot/Idea: 5
  • Originality: 3
  • Prose: 6
  • Character/Execution: 5
  • Overall: 4.75

Report Submitted: June 14, 2016

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