The Natural Victim now has a review each on Goodreads and Amazon, and since these are my first reviews ever, I’m going to post them on here. A huge thanks to both my reviewers. It’s often a gamble reading a book with no reviews especially one written by a new author. I’m thankful these folks did it and, more importantly, stuck around to write a review.
Goodreads (4/5 stars)
The only reason I picked up this book was because of the Agatha-Christie like vibe. Call me old-fashioned, but the new age murder-mysteries have all been revolutionized by the leaps and bounds taken in science. While it’s all very well to see on TV –who doesn’t like glowing, spinning, green images of a reconstructed bullet?– I prefer my crime books to be about people: detective, victims, suspects and their motivations.
The author, Peter Reynard, spins a compelling mystery which does exactly that. Sure his detective isn’t a groundbreaking fellow, with groundbreaking ideas, and sure the sidekick follows the cliche to fault, but the story is interesting enough to bring out the best in them and put aside all worries of being a rehash of famous works.
Besides, there’s a reason a formula became a formula in the first place.
A quick read, The Natural Victim, ticks all the check boxes for me. I had a lot of fun reading this book, (did it one sitting in fact) and even tried my hand at solving the case. The clues are all there, the puzzles sufficiently puzzling, and the characters ask the right questions without feeling too scripted.
This reads like an honest man’s account of following a realistic murder and is keeps you hooked all the way. It’s simple but not boring, formulaic, but not predictable. This is a murder mystery through and through – nothing more, nothing less. Don’t go into it expecting epiphanies about the human psyche, or social commentary on violence, because you’re not going to get that.
You’ll get a lovely story, and really, sometimes, that’s exactly what you need.
Amazon (5/5 stars)
This effort pretty easily stacks against some of the mainstream mystery novels, except for the length. I read it in one sitting, and I imagine it could be read in an hour or two. However, the nice thing is that I didn’t want to put it down at all, for that entire 2 hours. Really entertaining, and a fresh take on the whole Sherlock type of character without making him out like a super genius. It’s refreshing to read a mystery that you can actually put the pieces together on your own.