Amanda's Reviews > Symphony of Blood: A Hank Mondale Supernatural Case

Symphony of Blood by Adam Pepper
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's review
Oct 05, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: arc, horror, standalone, mystery, indie
Read from September 29 to October 05, 2011

Hank Mondale wanted to be a cop but his gambling, alcohol, and drug addictions ruined his record. Instead, he is now a private detective barely scraping by, so when a wealthy and famous man named Blake hires him to figure out where the monster pursuing his daughter is hiding out, he takes the case in spite of the odd sound of it. Particularly since Blake and his daughter insist that this is a literal, shape-changing, lizard-like monster after her.

This is a book that suffers from bad structure, a plethora of unlikable characters, and a serious lack of editing.

I can look beyond the editing problems, but the structure is intensely problematic. The first half of the book is told entirely from the detective’s point of view, only to abruptly switch and have the next 25% or so back-track and tell what occurred from the monster’s perspective. Then the last bit of the book reverts back to the detective’s perspective. This gives the book an incredibly odd structure and simultaneously removes most of the mystery and suspense. Either choose to be investigating the monster or be the monster or alternate more quickly between the two to maintain some mystery.

Similarly, none of the characters are likable. They are all the type that you would either move away from on the subway or roll your eyes at them behind their back. There needs to be at least one character the reader can root for in a horror mystery.

All that said, Pepper does have some writing abilities. He clearly has a creative mind and is capable of telling a story one can follow. This would be a good draft, but not a final published work. He needs to decide if he wants to tell the monster’s story of the detective’s, then rewrite entirely from that point of view and also invest in an editor. If these steps are followed, Pepper could have a solid book here. As it stands now, though, I can’t in good faith recommend it to anyone, even staunch horror fans.

Check out my full review.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Reading Progress

54.0% "This book definitely needs more editing. Also the second chapter started at the 50% mark. o_O"

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