Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jenn's Review: A Little Death in Dixie

A Little Death In Dixie

Summary:  The Blues were born out of need, anger and pride. Murder comes from those same dark places. Memphis has both. One of Memphis' most seductive and notorious socialites has vanished. Either she's off on another drunken escapade or the disappearance is something much more frightening. What begins as an ordinary day's work for Detective Billy Able quickly grows into a complex spider's web of tragedy, mystery, suspicion, and sordid secrets including a few of Billy's own. With the help of Mercy Snow, the estranged sister of the missing socialite, Billy follows a twisted trail of human frailty and corruption to disturbing truths that undermine everything he thought he knew about himself and the people he loves.

Review:  This was a very slow start, but eventually took off.  I didn't have any expectations for this book, and I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the plot and breadth of the story telling.  However, that's not to say it was flawless. 

Lisa Turner writes this story from different viewpoints, Billy the detective, Mercy the sister, and Buck the Judge, and Dexter the coroner.  Because of that, I think it took me a little longer to warm up to the characters. Turner eventually settles on Billy as the central character, but I almost wish it was Mercy.  While it would have made it harder to tell some of the meat and bones of the case, it would have given it more of an emotional pull.  I found Mercy to be interesting, but perhaps a little underdeveloped. 

The plot has lots of twists and turns and even surprised me a little, which is not easy to do.  I won't divulge the end but I was impressed with the complexity of the plot.  The devil is in the details, though, and there were many that need to be attend.  Although, for the most part these details weren't central to the plot, they were distracting, for example the dog from the car accident with 30 stitches that is up moving around the next day or the slightly muddled section where the coroner goes investigating... The ending was solid and well resolved. 

All in all, this was a solid debut novel from Lisa Turner, and I will be interested to see how her writing develops.

Final Take:  3.5/5


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