What would you do if you received a letter from a woman who witnessed a murder? But this letter shows up at your door 10 years after the event, what would be your approach? It is 2001 and the police constable’s girlfriend is murdered in a fit of jealous rage. When the constable realizes what he has done, he manages an elaborate cover-up. Only one person knows the truth. Flash forward to 2012. Anne Brown is still running her late uncle, Bill Darby’s, detective agency after spending four or five years as his assistant. One day, the postman delivers an eleven year-old letter. The letter is addressed to her uncle from a woman named Carolyn Jollimore. She says she has evidence about a murder and begs for help from Darby. But Bill Darby is dead. And when Anne looks up the letter’s author, she finds that Jollimare too is now dead. Troubled with the evidence at hand, Anne must decide if she should investigate this eleven-year old murder.
For someone who doesn’t really read Crime Thrillers, I actually liked The Dead Letter. I am not often one to reach for the newest James Patterson or Daniel Silva, and sometimes feel like there is a pattern in books like this. Of course this could be my lack of expertise on the genre, but the ones I have read often feel like they have the same sequence of events. This is also true of other genres like Chic Lit and Romance, that there is a blue print to each of these genres that writers have to follow. So what is to distinguish one book from the other? It comes down to two very key components that will determine the elasticity and the quality of the novel; the plot and the writing.
Finley’s writing is easy, direct, and candid. There isn’t a flow of adjectives that describe events or people, it is all about the mystery that needs to be solved. The detailing of rooms and people are limited and the story is often directed around the events or conversations being hard. Finley obviously does not want to distract his readers with the scenery, but to keep them in the moment of an event that could change the course of the book. Coming to this realization was unique and refreshing. His blunt approach to literature is something I have never read before and found it quite fascinating. The only thing that bothered me a little was the random side plots or side chapters, maybe they were added to fill the book a little and give the main character life, but it took away from the story. With his forthright approach to writing, I am curious to know why Finley decided to add in random side stories in the story. Was there a point to writing a chapter about a teenage party that was going on? Not quite sure how that tied into the story, but okay you are the writer. Otherwise, this book was a treat to read. I am curious to see what other book he will write in the future.
The Dead Letter was intriguing, captivating, and overall and enjoyable read. The story is well versed and there are plot twists when the story was dying a little, which is the mark of a good writer. I enjoyed reading this novel and found it a nice break from some of the other books I have been picking up lately. I think it would be a great book to get someone back into reading, or a great addition to any thriller library. If you know someone who loves thriller/mysteries, or you are a mystery lover yourself then I would pick this one up. An exciting read for those looking to get into the mystery genre.
Disclaimer: I was sent The Dead Letter for free from Worldwind Virtual Book Tours for an honest review. This review is of my own work, and I did not copy or refer to any other reviewers/writers/bloggers for this post. All content provided on “A Comfy Chair” is for informational purposes only. I make no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. I will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. I will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
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