Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Vein to the Heart

The Vein to the Heart
by C. P. Holsinger
(Foremost Press / 1-939-87002-X / 978-1-939-87002-5 / October 2013 / 222 pages / $13.97 paperback / $12.57 Amazon / $4.99 Kindle & Nook)

The Vein to the Heart is this fresh new author's second tale of mystery and imagination starring police detective Nick Greer. Events and details from the plot of the first novel, All the Bishop's Men, are referenced here and there, but any reader with no knowledge of the first one will fully enjoy this second Nick Greer case with absolutely minimal effort. I received the book for review less than twenty-four hours ago, so you know the plot held my attention to the end. I particularly like the way the story was wrapped up at the end. I am usually miffed by authors who suddenly halt an involved plot on the last page with little explanation, just to be clever, I suppose, but this intricate mystery is properly explained. Don't skip to the last few pages. You will regret it!

If you are a fan of the Law & Order, SVU, and CSI television series, you will feel like you are on the case with Nick Greer and his partner Sonny Madison. The characters talk and act exactly like those on the TV dramas. They treat federal investigators with disdain, fight with their superiors, work ridiculous hours while obsessed with cases, run down false leads and rely heavily on computer and lab technology. The reader will recognize numerous similarities with elements of all three of these popular shows. If I really wanted to nitpick, and I don't, I could say that the plot and style is just a bit too derivative. It is as if the author has been watching all the same shows I have for the past twenty years!

While I am picking nits, I could say the cover is a little on the blah side, although the front image and back blurb are both appropriate to the story line. I found the white background on the back to be a little glaring after viewing the dark front cover. One of the very few proofreading errors in the whole production is on the back cover, not a good thing! Oops, I just ran out of negative comments!

C. P. Holsinger's plotting and writing style remind me of the books of Don Meyer, another favorite of mine in this genre. Both writers know how to show, don't tell. The book is a quick read because it is full of character dialog rather than prolific, pompous prose. The reader clearly visualizes the characters, hence the TV references. No lengthy descriptions of characters or scenery are necessary. Oh yeah, I love plot twists, and this one's got 'em!

See also: All the Bishop's Men
Don Meyer's Winter Ghost
C. P. Holsinger's website

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