Review by Rain18 -- The Embalmer by Vincent Zandri

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Rain18
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Latest Review: The Embalmer by Vincent Zandri

Review by Rain18 -- The Embalmer by Vincent Zandri

Post by Rain18 » 14 Sep 2018, 23:32

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Embalmer" by Vincent Zandri.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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The Embalmer: A Steve Jobz Thriller is the first book in a two-part private detective series by Vincent Zandri. In this first book of the series, we are introduced to former Albany police officer, Steve Jobz, who is resigned to a boring existence in his current position at the New York State Unemployment Insurance Fraud Investigations Agency. The tedium of his day, spent in his four by four cubicle, is broken up when Albany Police Detective, Nick Miller, requests his assistance on a case he’s currently working. Dubbed the “Mortician Murders,” Miller’s case is on a serial killer who has been embalming his victims while they are still alive. Based on a profile provided by the FBI, the police suspect that the killer may be a disgruntled ex-funeral parlor employee.

Jobz is recruited to assist Detective Miller on the “unemployed” angle – both for his unique perspective and for his help in utilizing the Unemployment Insurance Fraud Investigations Agency database to search for the “needle in the stack of needles,” as explained by Miller. A welcome reprieve from the utter monotony of the hunt for the reprobate unemployment insurance fraud abuser, Jobz is glad to help.

I found this book to be a quick and easy read. The conversation between the characters remained loose and colloquial and I was engaged throughout the book. However, there were many areas where the book missed the mark for me – these areas were plot, character development, and storyline. First, the plot was extremely thin. I was expecting some excitement, some twists and turns, but there were none. I guessed who the killer was at the first introduction and I was really disappointed when my hunch turned out to be correct. About three-quarters of the way through, the killer’s identity was revealed and so I found myself anticipating the big climax surely waiting for me at the end of the book, but it never happened.

The second area where the book fell short was in the character development. All of the characters were pretty one dimensional – even the protagonist. In fairness to the author, we were given some backstory on Jobz, but not enough to connect with him on much of anything besides the challenges he faced with having a famous-sounding name.

The third and last area that I’ll touch upon is the storyline. Talk about a needle in a haystack! The leap from a disgruntled unemployed individual to unemployment insurance fraud is pretty unrealistic. There were other areas that stretched the bounds of reality, however, I felt that those could be attributed to creative liberty.

I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. As already stated, the book was a quick read and it kept me engaged. Although it did not hold up in the thriller category for me, I believe that it has the elements of a good crime novel. The book does contain violence, gore, sexual content, and adult language so I would recommend it only for adult readers. Readers who enjoy crime and detective fiction may find this book to be right up their alley.

******
The Embalmer
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Rain18
“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”
– Frank A. Clark

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Paulette A
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Post by Paulette A » 17 Sep 2018, 12:30

Rain18, another great job in rating this book. I agree at initial reading of the story line I found myself drawn to the Steve Jobs character as well as I could assume that only (more than likely) a mortician would access to embalming fluid. This person was definitely a ‘sick individual ‘ who would embalm a person while they are still alive. Your rating technique is that of a ‘very seasoned book reviewer’, a very descriptive bulletpoint highlighting features (3 parts) of the book in both its strong and weak areas. And your diction or writing skills are very, very impressive as well. With skills like these, leads me into thinking that you would make a great author yourself. Great job again Rain18!

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Rain18
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Latest Review: The Embalmer by Vincent Zandri

Post by Rain18 » 17 Sep 2018, 19:11

Thank you for such a wonderful compliment Paulette. The words mean a lot coming from someone like you and I appreciate you for taking the time to read my review and provide feedback.
Rain18
“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”
– Frank A. Clark

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Post by Kareka88 » 17 Sep 2018, 21:52

The premise of the book sounded intriguing. However, your final statements make me sad that it doesn't turn out to be a great book. Thank you for a thorough review.
"Life is an occasion - rise to it." Mr. Magorian

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Rain18
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Latest Review: The Embalmer by Vincent Zandri

Post by Rain18 » 17 Sep 2018, 23:17

Hi Kareka, I saw a lot of other reviewers who thought the book was good, but it honestly did not meet the mark for me. Thrillers are my all time favorite genre - this book did not thrill me. No mystery, no suspense - just blood, gore and violence. Thank you reading my review.
Rain18
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Shrabastee
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Post by Shrabastee » 18 Sep 2018, 04:12

Hi Rain 18,I enjoyed your review very much, particularly the way you narrated your views using separate points. I also did a review of this book and my rating is different from yours, but in certain aspects I fully agree with you. Discovering the identity of the killer was too easy, and I felt the author could have provided some glimpses into the killer's psychology. However, the development in Jobz's character was more or less satisfying to me.
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Post by Oulababe » 18 Sep 2018, 07:24

I love crime mysteries but I really feel bad when the killer's identity is predictable. I'm sorry you were that disappointed. A story about an embalmer does sound nice though

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Rain18
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Latest Review: The Embalmer by Vincent Zandri

Post by Rain18 » 18 Sep 2018, 10:08

Shrabastee wrote:
18 Sep 2018, 04:12
Discovering the identity of the killer was too easy, and I felt the author could have provided some glimpses into the killer's psychology.
Hi Shrabastee, it's amazing that we actually want to peek inside of a psychopath's mind - definitely afraid of the deep darkness that we may find there - but I too wish the author would have further developed this character. The need to create perfect humans, where exactly did that stem from? Is it a need to control, some deep- seated self-hatred? Just would have been nice to know what caused him to become such a monster. Thanks for reading my review.
Rain18
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Post by Niteshade710 » 02 Oct 2018, 06:14

Lovely review! I hate it too when I read murder mystery books and i figure out the killer too early in the story. I am left wondering why the writer gave too many clues or made it too easy. My best books are those that leave the reader guessing until the very last end! Haven't read this book and from your review I don't think I will, thanks for the heads up!

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