Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ring in the Dead by J.A. Jance

I can't believe I had never heard of this series. When I got this, I browsed through a neverending list of books by New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance and was fascinated just by the popularity. The book certainly lived up to my expectations. If not anything else, I'd recommend it as an introduction to the Jance's writing style. Being a novella, it's a quick read and the characters keep you involved. There's little suspense and the plot is pretty straightforward but it doesn't spoil the book's charm.

J. P. Beaumont is an old detective now, who stars in his own series, of which this book is the 20.5th installment (that adds twenty books to my TBR list!) When he is visited by the daughter of an old partner, Milton 'Pickles' Gurkey he remembers the case that brought them together. One day, at the end of Beaumont and Pickles's shift, a stop at the Doghouse restaurant quickly turns deadly. Not feeling well, Pickles steps out into the parking lot for a breath of fresh air and stumbles into a crime in progress. Suffering from a heart attack, he is found unconscious, with a dead woman on the ground nearby and the murder weapon in his hand. With Pickles under investigation from Internal Affairs, it's up to the new kid on the block, J. P. Beaumont, and his friends on the force to find out the truth.

For those who are familiar with this series, reading the book will be an altogether different experience from mine. What was a first-view at the characters for me, would be a cozy look into their past. But I can say this: if not familiar, it was certainly as enjoyable for me as would be for them. First-timer or not, this is an interesting book by an author you shouldn't miss. 

It's easy to like Beau, even though we get to know very little about him. Switching perspectives, if only briefly, with Pickles was a great idea! The author has their individual voices down and you begin to identify with the characters better. The writing has a flow to it, even though nothing much happens in the book. The detective work by itself is nothing special or exciting, the ending is very abrupt, and if the writing weren't so inexplicably engaging, I would have give the book a bad review. It shouldn't be called a suspense or crime novel or any of those labels that bring to mind an action-packed story. However, the book does have much deeper characterization and relationship establishment than your average mystery. I honestly don't know what genre this fits into; I suppose it forms a genre of its own. I have a feeling that might be true for all the author's novels and I can't wait to read them! Meanwhile, those interested can buy this book here.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.

2 comments:

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I've seen this series around but never gave it a try. Maybe I should pick at least one up.

Priya said...

You should definitely give it a try! Glad you stopped by :)

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