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Matt Coleman
Graffiti Creek
Matt Coleman, author
On a wall of graffiti, blood splatter gets lost. So Graffiti Creek--with its shadowed canopy of trees and evidence-destroying stream and the namesake bridge with its puzzle of spray paint--is not the place mysteries get solved. It’s the place where they begin. And Cary Trubody’s mystery began there before she even realized she was a part of it. On the way home from a party, Cary gets pulled over for running a red light. Within minutes, a routine traffic stop turns into a nightmare of mistaken identity. After escaping from two crooked detectives, Cary finds herself framed for two murders and still clueless as to why every dirty cop in the city is after her. Elsewhere in the city, Sameer Zardari hasn’t seen his husband in days, and his search leads him down the dark pathways of the journalist’s latest Quixotic story. And Marlowe Holliverse’s brother, Do Right, disappeared while shooting footage for that very story. Both men put themselves on a collision course with Cary, with all of them looking for answers and someone they can trust. That person may be Bright Hudson. Since witnessing the murder of her father at the hands of a dirty cop, Bright has worked her way from a broken hearted little girl to a dogged police detective. And her life’s goal is to dismantle the inner-department extortion her father died trying to expose. ​ The key to putting all these puzzle pieces together is Cary. She has the one answer to everyone’s question. Unfortunately, she has no idea what that answer might be.

Semi Finalist

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10


Plot: While the general plot of this novel will be familiar to genre fans, the author makes the storyline feel fresh and intriguing. Readers will be hooked from the very start.

Prose: The prose is smooth and often downright brilliant in its simplicity. The writing never distracts readers from the story or slows the pace of the book.

Originality: The mix of graffiti and murder is unique and grabs the reader. The fast pace of this novel is strengthened by original storytelling.

Character Development: The characters in this novel are well-developed with strong individual voices. They are diverse and believable. The reader will identify with them and cheer them on.

Date Submitted: May 15, 2018