2 out of 4 stars
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As John Brown’s Davidson’s Inlet opens, we are introduced to Jim and Kate Stanley. From the first pages, you will notice many strange, mysterious things happening in their home. Items are moved, lights turned on, and other irregularities occur while they are sleeping or away from home. The police don’t have any answers… at least not on the surface. Fortunately, or maybe not, work allows them to get away. Both Jim and Kate meet a mysterious woman named Samantha on their individual trips to Chicago; what impact will she have on the two of them? Things take an even more sinister tone in Chicago when Jim has an encounter with a waitress they know from back home. She turns up dead and he becomes a critical witness in the case.
This is where the story really begins and one ponders many questions. Not only does one wonder who killed the waitress, one wonders just what impact Samantha is having on Kate and Jim, and if the Stanley's still love each other. One will also question why Kate’s employer, the Chicago Tribune, cares so much about the murder and Jim. And what do those mysterious things back home have to do with what’s happening in Chicago?
The character development is lacking in some ways. I really did not feel like I truly got to know or connect with either of the main characters. Jim and Kate both often came off as stiff, awkward, and unsure of themselves. Jim more so than Kate. Ironically, Samantha, a supporting character, was well-crafted, which felt like an anomaly in the book. She comes on strong, showing just what type of person she is even if Kate and Jim don’t realize it. From the first time you meet her, you realize she is different from the others. To share more about her would require spoilers!
The writing was often dry, making it hard to “feel” the story. For example, Jim and Kate both express feelings of love at different times, but it is difficult to ascertain if they really mean it. At one point, Kate says, “Jim, what’s happening? We’re fighting. We never fight. What’s wrong?” It was difficult to interpret if she was being dramatic or meant it. Additionally, the editing was poor. There were so many typos and grammar errors that it was distracting at times. One prime example is the use of the word “consume” for “consommé.”
I rate Davidson’s Inlet 2 out of 4 stars. More than anything, I liked the overall premise of the story. The storyline is unique enough to make it worthy of more than 1-star. Unfortunately, the execution is lacking. The characters need to be more fully developed. The editing needs quite a bit of work for the book to be worth more than 2-stars. This story would appeal to those who enjoy crime novels with a bit of mystery. Note that there is some explicit sex, which some may wish to avoid.
This review has been unpublished because it is of an old edition of the book.
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