Grace's Reviews > Moonlight Falls: Dick Moonlight

Moonlight Falls by Vincent Zandri
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Apr 22, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: authors-on-twitter, fiction, suspense-thriller, read-in-2010
Read from April 19 to 22, 2010

I'm torn. I enjoyed reading the book. It is engaging, entertaining, and has so much going on that it is easy to get caught up in the suspense and the action. It is a quick read and the language is easily accessible, although I would argue it is too accessible that it read like an elementary school reader with swear words. Author Vincent Zandri weaved the elements of good suspense fiction together to create a solid and plausible story. I could easily see Zandri's novel translate well to the big screen should a film company decide to purchase the movie rights.

The book follows Richard Moonlight, part-time cop/part-time massage therapist with a piece of a bullet lodged in his brain after a botched suicide attempt, as he discovers his mistress, Scarlett Montana, has been murdered, even though her husband Jake says it is a suicide. He is called in and paid off the books to push through the paperwork saying it is a suicide. The plot thickens and Moonlight finds himself the prime suspect in her murder. The rest of the story unfolds as Moonlight works to determine Scarlett's real cause of death and clear his name.

Sounds like a good read, right? It should have been, but there are two aspects of the book that bothered me so much that they overshadowed my enjoyment for the story itself:

1. The writing. Zandri's writing style is incredibly simplistic. The story often read like an elementary school story, but with lots of swear words, murders, and sexual acts. In an effort to bulk up the writing, Zandri repeats himself, constantly 'info dumping' the same information over and over and over again. Yes, I get it. Richard's ex-partner married his ex-wife. Richard drives his father's old hearse. Those are just two examples. He did it in paragraphs of descriptions and even had the characters repeat these details over and over and over again. Annoying, to put it mildly.

2. The location of the story. I am from the Albany, NY area. If an author is going to use a real place to set his/her story, either go all or nothing. All geographical and cultural references must be correct or all completely made up with just a real city's name attached to them. It irks me to no end to read a story set in my area that is only partially geographically and culturally correct, especially when the author himself has roots in the area. There is no Albany Civic Center. Albany County Correctional is by the airport, not across the river because then it would be in another county. And this area does not have Stop and Shops and 711's.

If that type of writing style appeals to you and you couldn't care less about the geographic and cultural accuracy of the setting, this is an excellent suspense thriller to read. The story will keep you reading until there are no more pages left to read.


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