3 out of 4 stars
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It was 1952. After twelve years of separation, childhood sweethearts Rob and Rachel just got engaged, finally! They were supposed to celebrate the occasion with Rachel’s family at dinner. However, the celebration didn’t materialize. Before midday, Rob was called by the police chief to identify the body of his murdered grandfather. A couple of hours before the planned dinner, Rob’s former girlfriend of five years ago arrived with 5-year-old twins and presented them as his children. He didn’t know he got her pregnant. What was supposed to be a happy day turned out to be the exact opposite.
The main story spanned merely two weeks commencing on September 23 when Rob’s estranged grandfather, Richard Caldwell, was killed. Each day was eventful as the authorities scrambled to pinpoint the killer. The author deftly portrayed the rivalry between the FBI, local police, and state police. Scary Mafia thugs complicated the investigation, adding more suspense. There wasn’t much blood and violence or other graphic content, so young readers can comfortably read the book.
Death at Bound Brook Pier was set in Cape Cod in the fictional town of Bound Brook. The author, Rick Cochran, is a native of Cape Cod, and his love for the place was palpable. I appreciated the small-town feel of the book, with neighbors helping and trusting each other. Amid the chaos brought about by the murder and the Mafia shenanigans, Cochran was able to insert subtle references to the beauty of Cape Cod. His picturesque descriptions of tourist destinations like the First Encounter marker and the Target Ship in Eastham and the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown made me feel like I had visited those places. I also laud the author’s use of vehicles, sports heroes, and cartoon characters of the era to attain period realism.
While the book is the third in the series, I had no trouble following the story. Character development was solid. I think the author overdid it, though. The major characters all had their “trips down memory lane,” which told me a lot about their lives, but some repetition made the middle chapters drag. The book did start on a high note and ended wonderfully. I did not notice any plot loopholes. There were a couple of minor anachronisms, but only very meticulous readers would spot them.
The major issue with the book was the number of errors. I had particular difficulty in Chapter 18 where the first paragraphs seemed to be in the wrong order. I plead with the author to rectify the errors to give his readers a better experience. Because of the errors and the slow chapters, I give the book 3 out of 4 stars.
The book will be great for thriller fans who do not require high-octane action. There is a second plot: a family drama that would tug at the hearts of sentimental readers. Cape Cod residents and visitors will also find the book charming. I will be happy to read the rest of the series and learn more about this beautiful place that the author is so proud of.
Death at Bound Brook Pier
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