Hollis 's Reviews > Somewhere Over Lorain Road

Somewhere Over Lorain Road by Bud Gundy
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This review is going to stick out like a sore thumb at this stage as I'm the only dissenting voice in a sea of praise but I just couldn't love this book. I could barely like it.

Gundy's novel is appealing on a lot of levels; in addition to the hook of the synopsis, we have a long-ago murder mystery being investigated by someone who is not doing it because it's their job but for their own personal reasons (which I thought would lend the experience some gravitas and yet didn't really), and our MCs are in their fifties. That last one really really got me excited because I'm always looking for not-twenty-somethings to read about. But sadly none of it lived up to what I had hoped to get from this read.

Returning home to spend time with his ailing father before he passes, Don discovers his father's dying wish is to be officially cleared of a crime he didn't commit. Three boys had been raped and murdered in their small town in the seventies, and Don's father had been one of the suspects. While his alibi had proven he could not have committed the atrocities, no one was ever charged and the associating pall had hung over their family, specifically Rob, for forty years.

As Don isn't a professional -- he is, in fact, a marketing analyst? or something -- a lot of his policing methods were questionable. Unlikely. However Gundy does a good job of at least making the character aware of his own shortcomings in his investigation and does let him stumble on a bit. Where I thought I could at least be comforted by the love story element of the book, instead the romance just.. kind of happens out of nowhere. I was never once sold on the connection between these two. Part of the problem might be because I never found Don to be a likeable character despite how much we're told he was just the best ever always. I seriously doubt I would be interested in someone who responds to being told they're handsome by saying 'yeah, okay, but about my family drama..'. Or, conversely, when the mystery is solved but Bruce goes on to talk about other reveals, Don shuts him down with a 'yeah, well, it's over for me, so drop it.' The only thing they seemed to have in common was their sexual orientation and the fact that they fell in love with each other in five seconds.

My dislike of Don wasn't really a shock, though, considering I don't think I liked any of the characters at all? This might not have been helped by awkward dialogue, flashbacks that encompassed more unfortunate moments than positive ones, and too much 'rah rah rah the gay boys are smarter and better than the straights'. It was all just a bit hard to swallow.

I'll admit that I did find the big mystery reveal to be a nice shock. I didn't see it coming despite the fact that along the way I wasn't sold on any of the suspects or the red herrings that were being tossed around. Even the reason for it was unexpected, but in a good way, as I could appreciate the realistic motive despite the awfulness of it all.

Ultimately, this was just not the story for me. I couldn't connect with the characters, the romance, was bored by some of the filler scenes, and I didn't enjoy the writing style. While the bare bones of the story had promise, I don't think I would pick up another book by this author.

1.5 stars


** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
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Reading Progress

January 29, 2018 – Shelved
January 29, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
January 30, 2018 – Started Reading
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-reads
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: arc
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: baa-baa-black-sheep
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: crime-mystery
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: disappointing
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: ebook
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: family-focused
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: finished-in-january-2018
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqia
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: m-m
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: nope
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: not-a-bunch-of-twenty-somethings
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: not-all-the-feels-but-some
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: romance
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: zzzz-snooze
January 30, 2018 – Shelved as: full-of-characters-me-no-likey
January 30, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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Jess-the-MOOD-reader Oh, Hollis. I’m sorry. This doesn’t sound good at all. Well written review babe.


Hollis Jess wrote: "Oh, Hollis. I’m sorry. This doesn’t sound good at all. Well written review babe."

thank you sweetie. I'm sorry too. so much potential!


Bookphenomena (Micky) Totally unappealing, well-structured thoughts.


Hollis Kindling wrote: "Totally unappealing, well-structured thoughts."

I tried!! thank you for you.


Suanne Laqueur I struggled with it too. I feel better now.


Hollis Suanne wrote: "I struggled with it too. I feel better now."

I remember feeling some relief at seeing your review and a few others that popped up along the way but still.. sooo in the minority. which is great! glad people loved it. just not for us.


Suanne Laqueur I felt like it was trying to be too many things. And I agree, the love story kind of came out of nowhere and all of a sudden was a thing, with very little development. Bruce was two-dimensional and convenient. It ended up being a distraction from the mystery thread which actually was entertaining.


Hollis Suanne wrote: "I felt like it was trying to be too many things. And I agree, the love story kind of came out of nowhere and all of a sudden was a thing, with very little development. Bruce was two-dimensional and..."

cosign!


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