Plot/Idea: Millman's The Empty Kayak offers an intriguing setup: a thunderstorm over the Hudson River capsizes a couple--and only one makes it back to shore. But is there more to the accident than meets the eye? Millman raises the stakes of the mystery through Detective Ebony Jones's own connection to the victim.
Prose: Millman's narrative is evenly paced and gracefully rendered, with suspense sustained throughout. The author's knowledge of the criminal justice system is clear and provides a welcome level of verisimilitude to the storytelling.
Originality: The Empty Kayak utilizes familiar mystery elements to strong effect. Millman keeps readers guessing with potential leads, red herrings, and dead ends. While the motive ultimately revealed falls somewhat flat, the buildup is satisfying.
Character/Execution: Millman skillfully develops the characters and leaves readers uncertain of who to trust.
Date Submitted: April 03, 2023
“The Empty Kayak boasts emotional complexity and well-developed characters that will have readers trying to piece together this puzzle along with the protagonists. Millman maintains the mystery of the lost kayaker in a masterful way, leaving a few additional twists and turns to discover in the last few chapters of the book. Evenly paced and wonderfully written, the realism of The Empty Kayak is a reading experience of unique quality that keeps readers invested in the outcome up to the very last page.”—
“...A juicy, fast-paced page turner rich in you-are-there procedural detail and intermingled motivations, played out by a lively ensemble cast of cops, lawyers and miscreants.”—Chronogram Magazine