The Blue Journal
By L. T. Graham
When small town resident Elizabeth Knoebell is murder, former New York investigator Anthony Walker is on the case. He soon finds a series of stories and notes on Elizabeth’s computer that pertain to sexual encounters. But are the stories fictional? How is the fact that Elizabeth and her husband were both seeing Randi Conway, a psychologist, related? Are any of Conway’s other clients involved?
A steamy filled murder mystery. Sex, violence, and secrets waiting to be revealed. What other elements do you need?
Anthony Walker: 39, Lieutenant Detective, formerly with New York force, Irish/Italian descent, father was a police officer, attended John Jay College, divorced, has two daughters, drives a Ford Explorer, smokes
Randi Conway: psychologist, tall, blonde, attractive, middle 30s, brown eyes, sandy colored hair,
Stanley Knoebel: surgeon, wife is killed at the beginning, born in Romania, has a daughter, receding hairline, thin lips, pale blue eyes
Fran Colello: 45, married with children, dark eyes, brunette, housewife, smokes
Teddy Blasko: computer consultant to the police
Robert Stratford: Conway’s lawyer, Selectman, married, athletic physique, opaque brown eyes, straight brown hair
A varied cast that might need a playbill to remember who’s who. With the different personalities, it’s difficult sometimes to let everybody have time in the spotlight, if even for a short time. In this story he author gives a decent amount of snippet scenes to provide enough “Yeah, she/he could be the killer” thoughts. Good, basic descriptions but enough for me to have a decent mental image. Stanley is one of those characters you love to dislike because of his brusque personality.
I did think that the characters have enough background information so that I didn’t just easily dismiss them as throwaway. Strong personalities.
The more I moved through the story the more I came to not particularly enjoy Conway. I felt she wasn’t a very good psychologist. Her patients kept wanting to leave and during any sessions or talks, she didn’t seem to offer any substantive advice on solving the problems. She’d ask questions, but never got anywhere. She ran off to talk with a friend but the topics varied from her love life to the murder to her role as a psychologist…but again, nothing was solved. Her patients seemed to get worse as the days passed which doesn’t bode well for her reputation. However, as an aspect of ‘character development’ maybe that was the point.
Again, with so many characters, voices are tough to distinguish. I think the two main characters, Walker and Conway with the supporting roles of another officer and the Captain stand out. I think some conversations, while at first appearing to be unimportant, contain insights either to round out characters or point the finger-temporarily-at a particular person.
Profanity. Warning: Sex scenes included that read like letters to Penthouse.
This book is more of a soap opera with a mystery than a strict police procedural. Several subplots, some with more importance than others. There is a bit of suspense with the murderer lurking in the shadows every so often.
The graphic nature of, and the numerous passages of sex scenes was a bit of a turnoff for me.
Still a pretty good mystery.