Plot: The story holds the readers’ interest as it proceeds sequentially. The characters are, for the most part, adequately introduced. There may be too much detail of clothing and looks, and some of the “steamy” sex scenes seem gratuitous. More inner thoughts would have been useful. The fate of Isiah, the religious boy who absconds with the female teenager's corpse, is somewhat unclear, leaving readers wondering.
Prose/Style: The prose is smooth, with few omissions, errors or unclear sentences.
Originality: This mystery is original in two aspects: it is quite religiously-themed; and the mystery is studied and solved by a reporter and a lawyer, with a few cops helping out. No private detective is involved.
Character Development: Although the two main characters, Tom and Hillary, are well developed, they also seem somewhat shallow. The meticulous descriptions of clothing and looks, as well as the couple's steamy sex life, detract from the seriousness of the characters. Conversely, Shaw, the drunken murderer, is believably creepy and estranged from the world at large.
Date Submitted: June 19, 2019