Open Season

By Maryann Miller

http://maryannwrites.com/

Plot

Dallas Detective Sarah Kingsley is up against a review board and protesters after she shoots and kills a black child during a case in which her partner also ends up dead. Coming back to the job after some leave time, she’s paired with Angel Johnson, a new detective to the department. Neither is happy with the situation. First up for the pair is the murder of a mall employee. However, one murder turns into two as a security guard at another mall is found dead, followed days later by a window display worker. Both detectives have to deal with almost nonexistent clues, pressure from above to catch the killer, changes in their personal lives, and constant racial issues driving a wedge between them.

Nothing too unique here. As the plot unfolds there is more to the story and the characters which keep it interesting. This isn’t all mystery as there is romance and other subplots.

Characters

Sarah Kingsley: White, lost her partner when a drug operation went bad. Stays fit by running. FromTennessee. Lost her mother as a teen. Sometime smoker. Owns a stray kitten. Loner with few friends.

Angel Johnson: Black, new to homicide. Has a brother. Her dad is racist against white cops. Stays fit through taekwondo.

Good dichotomy between the two main characters. There are some supporting players brought in to provide tension and conflict – the accountant who hooks up with Sarah, a handsome narcotics officer who’d like to hook up with Angel, the understanding but tough Lieutenant. Both Sarah and Angel receive their fair share of personal story and background. Sometimes, character aspects aren’t used by the author and one wonders why they’re included. However, I like the fact Angel uses her martial arts and Sarah’s fitness routine is interrupted but never forgotten.

Dialogue

Fairly straightforward. There is a lot of non-dialogue, by which I mean there are conversations that start, but don’t finish. I was hoping for more of a blow up between Sarah and Angel. Conversations about the case are succinct and don’t wander.

Writing

There are not any technical or scientific details. This is a police procedural with some subplots. A few point of view problems in some chapters, but not enough to completely throw off the reader. A little profanity. The scenes are tight with not a lot of detail. This is a story where clues and leads are sporadic so there are a lot of scenes that don’t go anywhere other than to keep up the tension and continue some of the subplots. Still, a very nicely written book. I’ll keep an eye out for the next in the series.

My ranking:

Purple Belt

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Posted on May 28, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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