Thursday, 15 September 2011

Book Review: The Scar by Michael S. Weiner

When a well-known Reverend is callously killed Detective Seff is chosen to lead the task force investigating his murder. Soon afterwards a second victim is found displaying the same signature MO. Seff is under pressure from his Captain who in turn is feeling the heat from politicians and the media. Can they catch the killer before the case is taken away from them and handed to the FBI?

The ScarI thought the reasoning behind the killer's spree was interesting and certainly something that would see opinion divided if their motive was made public. This was one of those books where I found myself feeling like I knew the criminal better than the cop looking to take them down. I thought the way the killer found out about their victims made for a novel twist.  And talking of twists there were plenty of them. The final one really made me go Wow and gave the book more of an impact.

This book is written from two perspectives, one in the third person, Seff's viewpoint, in the past tense, the other in the first person, the murderer's, in the present. I liked the change of style, as it made the change from one to the other very obvious. However I felt there was quite a dichotomy between the two. When we are learning about the life of the killer, the abuse he suffered as a child and the situations he has been forced into, I was really engaged and felt it was very descriptive and provided a lot of tension. On the other hand the pieces detailing the hunt for the killer seemed a bit flat and far less pacey. I also had a bit of an issue with the author often moving from past to present tense in the course of the same paragraph, which didn't sit very well with me. Additionally some of the language used and the phrases seemed a bit stilted and jarred a little. It almost felt like the two POVs had been written by different people.

This was a quick read at just 152 pages, and I romped through it, at one point thinking the end was going to be a bit of an anti-climax only to have another curved ball thrown at me. Had the whole book been of the same calibre of the first person parts I would have easily given this 4* but found myself wondering about the language and other technical issues in places where I should have been concentrating on the story. Great potential though!

Format: Paperback, review copy
My Rating: 3*

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