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Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

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Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#1 by Mallory Whitaker
» 31 Oct 2017, 14:08

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Pocket Dial" by Sandy Magner.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by Mallory Whitaker
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Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner is a suspense/crime fiction novel centered around the mysterious death of a young boy, Tommy, in the small town of Tree Lawn. This first-person narrative is told through the eyes of Jennifer, a middle-aged woman with two divorces under her belt, who thinks she’s found the perfect boyfriend. Dylan is fifteen years younger, insanely attractive, and just might have killed Tommy.

The story opens with Jennifer being questioned by the police about Dylan and the phone call she received from him shortly before Tommy’s death. This is the titular pocket dial. She listens in on what sounds like roughhousing between Tommy and Dylan. How much did she hear? Will she tell the police or try to protect the man she loves? This novel is filled with difficult choices, mistrust, deceit, and dives into the human psyche while examining the differences between love, lust, and infatuation. Relationships of all types are central in this book.

Pocket Dial is incredibly deceptive. For the first few chapters, I had a difficult time relating with Jennifer and found her petulant, whiny, and overall unbearable as she lamented over what seemed like an easy decision to me. She came across as incredibly vapid. However, Magner does a beautiful job of interweaving the present with the past, which helps to transform her character into a relatable and tragic woman that you want to root for. While I still found myself groaning at some of her choices, I was at least able to understand why she did what she did.

This book is labeled as a suspense novel; however, the suspense was somewhat lacking. The overall story was somewhat easy to predict, but Magner provides a few nice twists and turns. There were some moments in the book that made me jump out of my skin; moments akin to someone popping out of the dark in a horror movie. For me, this book was not about the unfolding of the criminal investigation, but about Jennifer’s transformation and exploring her past and personal relationships with Dylan, her children, her best friend Kat and her former husband John. Of course, the investigation is a large part of the book, and it’s great, but the real twists and turns have to do with the characters and the secrets they hold close to their chests.

Outside of Dylan, I found all of the characters dynamic. Dylan’s character suffered due to the fact that we are hearing about him from the love-addled mind of Jennifer, which makes him sound more like a god than a real person. I suppose I just never felt as though there was anything truly tangible about him.

The book is generally well-written, but it does contain some errors. The most frequent errors dealt with the formatting of paragraphs; at times they wouldn’t be indented and at others, they would have an extra line break between them. There were a couple spelling errors like “duck tape” and “Martha Stuart”, but those are the only ones I noted. The errors weren’t distracting other than the accidental additional line breaks between paragraphs; I always assumed it meant that a new scene was about to happen and then realized it was just a continuation of the same scene.

Overall, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. This is a quick, easy read that I finished in a few hours. The reasons I’m not giving it full marks are the errors mentioned above and because, by the end of it, I thought there was room to dig deeper into the motives of some of the characters. I would recommend this to readers who like character-driven suspense/crime novels and don't mind some predictability. If you like your crime novels to be mainly about the crime rather than the personal circumstances surrounding it, this probably isn’t the book for you. There are a couple mild sex scenes, frequent profanity, and violent acts in this book.

******
Pocket Dial
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#2 by Arslan siddique
» 01 Nov 2017, 03:59

Very good
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#3 by Mercy Bolo
» 01 Nov 2017, 05:07

Dating a man who's 15 years younger... Sounds like Jennifer is going through a crisis. Too bad this is a "suspense" story with no suspense.
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#4 by kandscreeley
» 01 Nov 2017, 07:33

I don't think this one is for me, but it does sound interesting. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#5 by bookowlie
» 01 Nov 2017, 09:12

Nice, insightful review! I love your description of the main character as "incredibly vapid." :) The premise of this story sounds really interesting and I like that there are a few plot twists. Off to read the sample!
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#6 by MsTri
» 01 Nov 2017, 10:05

Sounds like an interesting read and I applaud you for sticking with it long enough to be able to at least tolerate Jennifer. It's also too bad Dylan came off too godlike thanks to Jennifer's views of him. Still, it sounds like I'm something I'd enjoy, especially since I know what to look out for.
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#7 by Mallory Whitaker
» 01 Nov 2017, 10:57

Arslan siddique wrote:Very good


Thanks for checking out the review!

Mercy Bolo wrote:Dating a man who's 15 years younger... Sounds like Jennifer is going through a crisis. Too bad this is a "suspense" story with no suspense.


Haha, she's definitely going through some things! The suspense is just...a different kind of suspense then I would have expected. Like, I was in suspense about the characters, not necessarily the mystery of the crime. Some might find suspense in the crime though!

Sandy Magner wrote:Have you read it?


I have :) I assume you're not asking me though. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book!

kandscreeley wrote:I don't think this one is for me, but it does sound interesting. Thanks for the review.


Thank you!

bookowlie wrote:Nice, insightful review! I love your description of the main character as "incredibly vapid." :) The premise of this story sounds really interesting and I like that there are a few plot twists. Off to read the sample!


Thank you! Like I said, you might have a hard time relating to Jennifer in the first few chapters, so don't base your read of the sample on that - at least in my opinion! I'd love to hear what you think.

MsTri wrote:Sounds like an interesting read and I applaud you for sticking with it long enough to be able to at least tolerate Jennifer. It's also too bad Dylan came off too godlike thanks to Jennifer's views of him. Still, it sounds like I'm something I'd enjoy, especially since I know what to look out for.


Thanks! I'm really glad I did because her character is very complex and I enjoyed finding out more about her. Yeah, but, I find that can be the case with romance stories when it comes from just one perspective. Woo! You'll have to let me know if you read it!
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#8 by Quinto
» 01 Nov 2017, 14:35

So sad a boy had to die so young ostensibly while the mother is blinded by infatuation at her age, incredible. Thanks for an interesting review.
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#9 by Mallory Whitaker
» 01 Nov 2017, 16:15

Quinto wrote:So sad a boy had to die so young ostensibly while the mother is blinded by infatuation at her age, incredible. Thanks for an interesting review.


Thankfully, the boy's mother isn't the protagonist and blinded by infatuation or that would be truly awful. Thanks for checking it out!
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#10 by NIWANDINDA GIDEON
» 02 Nov 2017, 09:38

looks so nice
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#11 by Kat Berg
» 02 Nov 2017, 21:21

I can't decide if this book would be a good fit for me or not. I love mysteries. They are one of my favorite genres. Although your review is good, this one doesn't quite grab me.
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#12 by Kalin Adi
» 02 Nov 2017, 22:32

Sounds like an interesting suspense story full of excitement and twists. Too bad about the lack of a solid format pattern. Thanks for the review!
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#13 by Mtsweni Nelsy
» 03 Nov 2017, 14:44

I have an interest in detective, suspenseful and intriguing novels. This book fits the criteria. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#14 by Gingerbo0ks
» 05 Nov 2017, 05:24

Sounds like a good, quick read for a rainy day. I liked how you reviewed the characters in such detail, but it's a shame some of the book could be predictable.
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Re: Official Review: Pocket Dial by Sandy Magner

Post Number:#15 by VictoriaOgun
» 10 Nov 2017, 16:44

Nice review but not a book I will read though I love suspense and mystery book's
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