3 out of 4 stars
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Katherine Hope (Kat) is an investigative reporter who works for a newspaper in New York City. She gets a phone call from someone who calls himself “The Chemist”. He tells her there is a body in an abandoned building and to go alone to check it out. Although not knowing whether to believe him, her gut tells her she should. So, she goes unattended into a potentially dangerous situation and finds a young woman tied to a chair—dead! After calling 911, she insists on waiting for the lead detective, Dante Russo, before telling them anything. Arriving irritated and frustrated with Kat, he finally promises to keep her up to date on the case in return for the information on the murder.
After writing the article, she buries it in the newspaper instead of on the front page because of an agreement made with the police. This turns out to be a mistake. Kat finds a note from the killer on the dining room table after arriving home at the end of the day. He is not happy about the placement of the article in the newspaper and wants her to know that he is aware of where she lives! Kat feels that it is up to Dante and her to uncover the killer, and it is now imperative that they find him soon. However, they don’t have a clue as to his identity!
The Chemist: A Psychological Thriller, written by Stephanie Colbert, is a crime drama and thriller in which the action starts on page one and continues until the end of the book. Divided into 23 chapters, there are 184 pages with an epilogue at the end. The book jumps right into the story with the first death and moves rapidly into Kat becoming endangered and other deaths occurring soon afterward. The author’s writing is in third person, and her style is concise and easy to understand. She held my interest and kept me guessing what was coming next. It is a suspenseful, plot-driven story with enough twists to keep the reader entertained until the end. The plot is my favorite part of the book. Most of the questions, although not all, are answered by the end of the novel.
However, I felt like the book was a little rushed, and the characters weren’t as developed as I would have liked, lacking depth. There wasn’t much attachment to anyone in the story for me. Additional background information on the characters might have helped readers relate to them better, and the author could have filled us in on what they were thinking and feeling a bit more. For example, Kat’s character wasn’t very likable to me through most of the book. When she wouldn’t work with the police until they promised to give her exclusive rights to the story, I felt like she was arrogant and selfish; the story was the most important thing to her. She was reckless as well, rushing into things without thinking of the consequences.
A romantic relationship was supposed to be building between Kat and Dante during the book, but it was rushed so much it didn’t feel real at all. They were irritated and frustrated with each other, and, with little indication that it was happening, they were suddenly in a romantic relationship. The other characters felt a little shallow also and didn’t elicit much connection with me. This was my least favorite aspect of the book.
Unfortunately, there were quite a few errors in the novel. This was mostly in the form of misspelled words, punctuation flaws, and capitalization errors. A professional editor could easily clean up the flaws.
Because I like the suspenseful plot in the story, it gets a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. I feel that the story is too good for 2 stars, but it is not good enough in its present form for 4 stars due to the lack of character development and errors.
A few vulgar words are seen in the story; therefore, it is not suitable for children because of that and the murders. This book will appeal to readers who like plot-driven crime dramas and thrillers if they can overlook the character development and errors.
The Chemist: A Psychological Thriller
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