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The Poison Artist
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March 2016: Mystery Thriller > The Poison Artist/Jonathan Moore - 3 stars

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JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments Dr Caleb Maddox is having a bad week....his girlfriend dumps him, he's in danger of losing his grant for a pain study and he can't seem to find a mysterious woman he met in a bar when he was drowning his sorrows. In addition, his best friend Henry, the SF coroner, thinks that there is a serial killer on the loose.

The good --- this is a twisty-turny book that keeps you guessing. The beginning was a bit slow, but the last half of the book was at break-neck speed. There were some very gringe-worthy scenes that I was happy that I wasn't watching. Unfortunately, there were a few things that I really disliked. The writing seemed a bit awkward.....I think that Moore was going for a noir feel, but he didn't quite get it right. Also, the book is set in San Francisco, a city that I'm very familiar with. I'm not sure if he was trying to add credibility, but street names and specific places were called out far too often. I almost felt like I was with someone who was name-dropping to impress me. For example, they would call out the streets that he took to get home EVERY time he went home. I think that there was one instance that he mentioned something that was completely wrong. And now for a really picky factual thing. (view spoiler).

My last two complaints may not even be noticeable to someone else, so I wouldn't let that stop you from picking this up. I recommend you try a sample to see if the writing style annoys you --- you will know quickly. As far as a mystery thriller goes, on those points, I would give it 4 stars.


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6647 comments Lol, well done review. Love the term "twisty-turny" - - I feel we need to coin that for PBT use only!

I probably could put aside the SF street name issue, but in all seriousness, does any reader care about the exact route a character takes home? That definitely sounds like an unnecessary detail instead of a "telling detail".


JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments Yeah -- it really was a bit odd. Sometimes it's fun when you know a place and can picture the exact location, but it was so over-done.

However, it did give me some locations to use for the literary excursion task so I think my husband and I are going to drive up there for a photo today :-D.


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