4 out of 4 stars
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What would you do if you had the chance to rewrite history or correct your mistakes? Cast the First Stone by David James Warren will take you to a world where the impossible is possible. Rembrandt Stone is a fifty-two-year-old former detective and bestselling author. His wife, Eve Mulligan, is a crime scene investigator and always by his side to calm and ground him. However, Stone's past as a detective persistently haunts him, more so, his cold cases. He often has nightmares of the victims of the unsolved murders and a guilty conscience.
Things take a strange turn when Stone receives a box containing all his unsolved cases from his former and recently deceased boss, Chief John Booker. Along with the files is a vintage wristwatch with a peculiar inscription on it. The files bring fresh despair to him while the watch arouses intrigue and wonder. One evening everything changes when he instinctively wound the watch in frustration. In an instant, he blacked out and awoke in 1997, hours away from the occurrence of his first cold case, a coffee shop bombing, and the first of the three. Was this his second chance to fix things? Before long, Stone will be racing against time to stop the bombings and fix his past, his regrets. However, what will be the cost of all his repair work?
Cast the First Stone begins with a captivating and thought-provoking introduction. It is a philosophical first-person narration of Stone’s thoughts and reflection of his life as a father, husband, son, and detective. The character development is excellent, and each person feels real and connects intimately with the reader. Each character is impactful and has a role that ties in with the main story. For instance, Katia, a minor character at a coffee shop, leads Stone to a series of actions that changes his life. The description of the scenes and various settings within the story, like the gut-wrenching crime scenes, are vivid. It is easy to visualize and feel the emotions around each of them.
The strongest aspect of the book is the relation of the characters to the overall plot. Stone and Eve work in crime and investigations, and they chose the fields due to heartbreaking family tragedies. Eve’s father was also a detective, and Stone’s best friend is his former partner. Silas, who is Eve’s colleague and Stone’s love rival, also secretly hates Stone for taking Eve away from him. There is absolutely nothing to dislike; the book keeps the time-traveling theme throughout the entire read by having a wristwatch picture at the beginning of every chapter.
The book is excellently edited, and I did not find any grammatical or spelling errors. The language employed is intelligible and entirely free of any profane words. However, sensitive readers should take note that some crime scenes are in saddening and overwhelming details. Cast the First Stone combines crime, mystery, and romance into a magnificent read. It also includes instances of humor and creative metaphors, making it quite enjoyable. The conclusion is a shocker and the definition of a cliffhanger, leaving me yearning for the next book in the sequel. I recommend the book to anyone looking for a confounding crime novel full of suspense and wonder. It deserves a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.
Cast the First Stone
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