August 2016

Cold Killing, by Luke Delaney >>
Second Watch, by Lowen Clausen >>

Cold Killing: 1 thumbs down, 6 thumbs up.

The group found this novel to be a very complex and clever narrative. A realistic police procedural with multi-dimensional detective, Corrigan is aware of his own flaws, and this is just what allows him to get into the “skin” of the criminal mind and be attuned to evil. A few readers said they saw similarities between Cold Killing and Silence of the Lambs.

The mystery was compelling and kept one guessing until the end. The multiple narrator/view point made an interesting and unusual twist for a mystery. It allowed for a subtle manipulation of the reader and was handled with skillful writing.

Readers mentioned the graphic violence (don’t read unless you are ok with torture scenes); however there was an insightful comment that, “what was disturbing wasn’t the murder so much as how the killer talks about and enjoys it.”

Cold Killing is a psychological thriller as well as a police procedural, and the group felt that “enjoyed reading it” wasn’t the right way to describe something so sinister. Compelling and engaging, yes. Enjoyable? Not so much. But overall a thumbs up for the group.

Second Watch: 1 thumbs up, 2 thumbs down, 1 thumb hovering in the middle.

The group loved the depiction of Old Ballard/Seattle. However, although it was set in 2003 it felt like a much earlier time frame. Old Ballard was already mostly gone by 2003 so it didn’t read realistically in terms of time and place.

Readers also had a very difficult time keeping the two lead female characters apart. They were, on paper(!) very distinct characters that should have been easy to differentiate but the writing wasn’t strong enough to maintain either as a separate, living, breathing unique person.

The mystery got a tepid nod of approval, but most felt that the ending was ham-handed. The most positive comments were about the young boy whose childlike perceptions, voice and experiences were well written.


What do you think? Post your comments!

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