3 out of 4 stars
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Golf as a backdrop to murder works quite nicely!
I have been pleasantly surprised by the plot and the choice of setting in Perfect Fairways… Hidden Lies by Robert Marier. What doesn’t quite cut it is the character development, the non-professional editing and the frequent typos, which is the reason I cannot rate this book more than 3 out of 4 stars.
The first victim found dead is in Indio, California. The second is in Scottsdale, Arizona. The third is in Los Angeles. They’re all beautiful, all successful women. All have died in motels. All have been choked by golf balls.
A Los Angeles detective notices the similarities and calls in the FBI. It doesn’t take long to figure out that there’s a serial pattern at work, and it’s related to golf. So, the chase begins, and it won’t stop until the killer is caught.
The story is fast-paced, condensed and grabs the reader’s attention. It is told through a variety of characters, none of which stands out as a true protagonist. They each have their part to play, and I like how the author uses this style to show that team effort is the key to these kind of investigations and to their effectiveness.
Unfortunately, little is said about the serial killer’s psychology. His motivations and triggers seem superficial and don’t strike me as particularly convincing. Maybe, Mr. Marier should have spent more words and more research on this aspect. And also on grammar, given his frequent misuse of “though” instead of “through” and of singulars instead of plurals.
Undoubtedly, however, the novel’s strong points are the unique settings where the hunt takes place. Not just on golf courses and tournaments, but also in some of Mexico’s exclusive locations. And I quite enjoy the distinctive sceneries that the author describes both in words and in pictures.
I further appreciate the technical insights about the sport itself. It’s clear that Mr. Marier isn’t just a golf fan. He is also a fine and passionate connoisseur of the game, to the point of throwing in useful titbits on how to improve one’s playing skills, which have to do with the course type, the wind velocity and the various terrains. He unveils a few strategies, brings in a few details, mentions some history, describes the differences between the most famous golf retreats in the world until it all becomes alive and more realistic, especially to someone like me who is totally ignorant of golf.
If you’re looking for a short, quick read in the serial crime genre without being too fussy about grammar, then this is for you.
Perfect Fairways... Hidden Lies
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