2 out of 4 stars
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Ever wish you could look into the past to determine what really happened in some consequential moment? Maybe you still ponder the identity of the person who egged your car, or who vandalized your locker, or something more serious, like who committed that murder. Detective Jonathan Miller has such a tool at his disposal. In Miller’s View: The Case of the Blue Diamonds, by Marlene W. Potts, Miller is the owner of a pair of rose-tinted glasses that allow him to be an eyewitness to the crimes he is investigating. However, the snippets he sees don’t give him all the answers. He still has plenty to do on his own, including discovering who he can and cannot trust. These glasses also connect him to a Priestess, Daeva Keket, who brings her own forces of power and magic to the table.
This book is the third in a series, and can also stand alone. In this installment Detective Jonathan Miller has found the love of his life, Callie St. Claire. They become engaged, and all seems to be going well until Jonathan’s brother, Victor, calls on him to investigate the blue diamonds that are being smuggled through his warehouse. A web of deceit and danger has been spun, and Miller must untangle the clues. The more he digs into the smuggling ring, the more connections he discovers between it and his and Callie’s families. Will he be able to keep Callie safe, and will he and Callie still have a relationship when this is all over?
There are some high points to this novel. The premise is complex and intriguing. The guilty parties are identified early in the story, but impactful events such as Callie’s kidnapping, another attack on Callie, and the homicide of a cop investigating the case, fuel the plot to the end. Mysterious subplots relating to the main characters’ families also contribute positively to the story arc. Despite the criminal nature of the novel, no foul language was used. The author included enough information from previous books for me to be able to follow this one without feeling lost. I liked the author’s character development the most. The main characters had a well-developed backstory. The relationship between Jonathan and Callie was written well. Problems of trust and security arose in their relationship lending it depth and credibility. Love scenes were included, but were tastefully done in a fade to black style. Despite these strengths, the novel fell flat in some others areas.
Major formatting issues were present within the Kindle version of this book. Line breaks in odd places mess with the flow of the story. While this is annoying, it's not the worst part. Metaphorically speaking, this book is Swiss cheese. Several sentences stop mid-line, right in the middle of a thought, and then the rest of the sentence is just gone. Reading it was like playing a skewed game of Mad Libs. The sentences that are there in completion are well-written and engaging, leaving me to believe something dreadful happened with the formatting. This occurs frequently through the entirety of the book, and was what I liked least. This flaw left me no other option than to deduct a star from the book's rating.
Additionally, there are some other problems. The rose-tinted glasses and the Priestess play a large role in the set-up of the story. They are also used some at the end. However, there is a significant chunk of the middle of the plot where neither are mentioned or used. Consequently, I forgot Miller had these resources at his disposal. There were moments when policework seemed unreal. For example, an apprehended suspect involved in kidnapping Callie was at the hospital for days without a policeman guarding him. Miller also confronts Callie's mother concerning her connection to the smuggling ring with Callie present, and without other officers present. The case itself seemed to be concluded all of a sudden, and some aspects were left dangling. Transitions between scenes were sometimes choppy, and I couldn’t decide how much of this was a problem with the writing, or if it was due to the aforementioned missing lines. In the text that was there, I also noticed an occasional editing mistake with punctuation and improper tense changes. These problems combined warrant the loss of another star.
I give Miller’s View, a 2 out of 4 rating. I cannot currently recommend it to anyone. The pieces of missing writing need to be recovered or re-written. Without this problem, I believe I would have been able to award this book three stars. This narrative is akin to an old house; the bones are good, but substantial renovations are needed.
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