3 out of 4 stars
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[Following is an OnlineBookClub.org review of "Toxic Side Effect" by Sandy Magner.]
Toxic Side Effect is a sequel to the book Pocket Dial. The main character Jennifer is embroiled in a murder case when her own father is poisoned while in his own home. Jennifer’s mother is the main suspect in the case, and we follow the story of her trying to plead her innocence to the police. Throughout the story the author cleverly adds subtle hints and clues that come to light and the plot takes unexpected turns which forces Jennifer to team up with her friend Kat to solve the mystery and clear her mothers name.
The start of the book is very intense, and it gets straight into the action. I was captivated within the first few pages. Jennifer is driving to the hospital after hearing her Father has been poisoned and she knows that her Mother may be the prime suspect. The book is very fast paced, and the plot thickens as it goes on. Most of the chapters are very short, which helped to keep my interest because it was such a light and short read that was wrapped up quickly. There were no diversions in this book, there was one main story and that was it. Throughout the book, the pace does slow down but this didn’t deter me from reading. One thing I did notice was a few of the chapters were almost just put in to make the book longer. I found one typo, but this error caused no distraction and did not disrupt the flow of the story.
One thing that did contribute to me losing interest was that the characters weren’t that developed throughout and there was no backstory to help us understand characters intentions. The vocabulary that the author used was very basic and could be understood very easily. Although, the broad range of characters confused me a little because they were not developed fully and didn’t contribute to the story. Despite this, I loved the protagonist’s relationship with her friend and think they made a beautiful duo. Another thing I loved about this book was the addition of a disabled character. It shows just how diverse the book is and they really made a great addition to the storyline.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a fast-paced mystery that gets straight to the point. The plot is good and for this I give this book a 3 out of 4 stars. The only thing that let this book down was the fact that it didn’t develop as much as I would have liked it to. Furthermore, the fact that the identity of the killer wasn’t that pleasurable put me off. It felt as if the author just wanted to make it unexpected, which it was but it just didn’t really make sense.
Toxic Side Effect
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