3 out of 4 stars
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The Dionysus Connection by Liz Cowan is a crime novel with a good helping of romance on the side.
When Daniela’s (Dani) parents are tragically killed in a burglary gone wrong, she is left with too many unanswered questions. With her uncle the Police Chief, Dani is aware that the case seems to be going nowhere.
When Detective Max and his new partner P.J. are assigned to the investigation, not only do they find new leads, but both the pair and Dani find themselves drawn to Club Dionysus, although for very different reasons. What is the Club’s connection to her parent’s murders, and can Dani finally acknowledge the attraction which she feels to Max, or will she, yet again, hide behind her protective walls?
Written in third person the story follows both Dani and Max, which enables the reader to gain a good insight into both characters. Dani, headstrong and stubborn to the point of extreme, has worked hard to gain her independence, escaping from a past of verbal and mental abuse. Afraid of forming relationships and filled with regret over her mother’s death, her emotions fluctuate dramatically. This makes her all the more relatable as she has very human flaws. Max, while also stubborn and abrasive, has met his match with Dani. Mellowed somewhat by his new partnership with P.J., his character develops well during the story as he sees his own failings and discovers what’s really important to him.
While the story covers a variety of topics such as abuse, murder, torture, stripping, and even the subject of ESP, they are written well so that none of these overwhelms the story. Also, even though there are sex scenes, they are tastefully, rather than graphically, written.
I believe that in order to be classified as a good crime or mystery novel, the reader must be constantly guessing, right until the last minute. While I did pick who the murderer was quite early on, the why behind it was a surprise, along with the twist at the end which I enjoyed.
This was a fast-paced and enjoyable read, however, there were quite a few small errors in punctuation and an occasional missing or misspelt word. While it didn’t interrupt the flow of the story, it would really benefit from another go through with the editor. Due to this, I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. This a great book for any crime reader, especially those who enjoy character development and discovering the why behind the murderer.
The Dionysus Connection
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