As some of you already know I received an e-reader from my daughter & son-in-law as a gift in December. I was thrilled to get it, it was exactly what I was looking for since I have been listening to my hubby moan about moving my books every time we move. My hope was to cut my stored books down to a handful of cherished friends & help save the planet’s trees in the bargain.  Being a somewhat thrifty type of person, I thought I would take advantage of the bargains at Amazon.com where you can get books for next to nothing or sometimes free.  It turns out you rarely get a whole book with these deals (usually just an excerpt) & they hope you will do a review on what you’ve read.  To my way of thinking e-books should be quite a bit cheaper than their paper counterparts since the publishers save a lot of costs, but this is a topic for another post.

My first book is:  Innocent by Joe Prentis.

On my e-reader this is 182 pages long which makes me think this is more than just an excerpt, although I wish it was an excerpt because it felt like so much of this book was missing.  This is a murder mystery book set in a small town where there is some conflict between the local police department and the county sheriff’s department.  At some point, the FBI even make an appearance.  The story is told from the point of view of the County Sheriff who is married with a teenage daughter.

Since I don’t want to be a spoiler for the actual story, I will tell you there are a number of murders in the book, there are a lot of suspects and quite a few twists & turns.  Unfortunately, the twists & turns seem like they are thrown into the story willy-nilly, leading to a lot of confusion about what this story is really all about.  A whole host of characters out of the Sheriff’s past make an appearance in the story, most of them become suspects at one time or another & a few of them die.  In fact, there are so many new characters introduced at different parts of the story, it’s difficult to keep them straight.  There is a plot twist where the Sheriff sleeps with someone other than his wife, but this goes nowhere & does not serve the story in any way leading me to wonder why it’s there in the first place.  At the very end of the story (in the last couple of pages), the Sheriff is faced with a moral dilemma which has not appeared anywhere in the story before this.  The choice he makes is totally out of character from the way the Sheriff has been portrayed throughout the entire story.

I found the story difficult to read because of grammatical & spelling errors.  Colloquial language is used throughout the story, but not just in the dialogue to give the characters more depth, it is used to describe actions such as carrying someone somewhere when they mean driving someone or delivering something.

Sorry Mr. Prentis, I would only give this story a 3 out of 10.  There was an interesting premise to the story, but the way it was described was awkward & clunky.  I found myself re-reading parts to see if I had missed something because not all the twists & turns seemed related to the actual story.  Better luck next time!

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