Official Review: Cold Case Closure

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Official Review: Cold Case Closure

Post by Jax14 » 07 Mar 2018, 01:12

[Following is an official review of "Cold Case Closure" by Patrick I. O'Donnell and Charles O. Gaylor.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Cold Case Closure by Patrick Ian O’Donnell and Charles O. Gaylor is touted as a police procedural novel, and deals with a number of fictional cold murder cases. It is a standalone novel and falls into the general fiction/detective thriller category.

Grant Frazier is a retired Cold Case Crime Taskforce member, as well as having previously worked for the LAPD. During his time in law enforcement he has seen far too many people get away with murder due to lack of evidence or credible witnesses. With the death of his wife, and the fact that he is no longer active in law enforcement, Grant goes off to mete out his own brand of justice to the cases he feels most aggrieved about not having been solved. The problem with being judge, jury and executioner however, is that sometimes you find you might be wrong.

The idea of a retired cop playing vigilante and bringing killers who got away with murder to justice really intrigued me. The prologue starts with a bang and sets the tone for the book, so you expect a fast-paced ride. The book lays out a bit of Grant’s background and how his son-in-law came to work with him. It focusses on the murders and the people believed to have done them, as well as why they were never found guilty of the crimes. Some are told from the murderer’s perspective and others as a police case. This gives you a bit of a clue as to an important twist in the story. You also get an insight into a lot of police techniques used within the departments and the hard work that goes into solving a case successfully.

Unfortunately cracks started to show up very early on in the book. Timelines were a major issue and contradicted each other. Examples were:
• In the beginning of the book it states that Grant’s wife dies six months after learning of her cancer diagnosis and a few lines later it says three months.
• Grant is set to retire in July 2013 but his son-in-law Mike takes over a week later in August 2014, and once Grant is retired he sets out to find the killers in January 2014.
• In the beginning of the book a gentleman named Ostler is stated as having been killed in 2008, then later it is discussed as being in 2003, and when they interview his housekeeper in 2014 they talk about it happening 14 years previously.
• In 2014 Grant says he has been in law enforcement for 40 years but fought in Grenada in 1983 and only joined law enforcement once his enlistment was over.
These were just a few of the timeline errors. There were a lot of misplaced and missing quotation marks so it wasn’t always obvious as to who was speaking. Prepositions and plurals were missing, hyphens were placed between words where not necessary, words like alley were spelled ally (when used for walkway) and words were used in the wrong context like prospective instead of perspective. Capitals cropped up in the middle of sentences, apostrophes were missing and dates suddenly alternated between being written in numerals and words. Sometimes the same information was repeated from one paragraph to the next and the writing style often moved between casual and formal, which made me question if it was due to the different writing styles of the authors.

The premise behind the story made me think about justice and whether or not vigilantes can be condoned for their actions. It saddened me that the editing and grammatical mistakes in the book brought down what could have been a great detective thriller. The ending does have a twist, and even though you can see the lead up to it, I really hoped that it wouldn’t go that way as I was eager for an honourable ending and an admission of wrongdoing. I commend the authors on a great idea, but remove one star for punctuation and grammar and another for the glaringly obvious mistakes in the script. I thus rate Cold Case Closure 2 out of 4 stars, and even so would recommend it to mature YA readers and up who enjoy police stories, especially thrillers, and can handle episodes of violence in their reading.

Cold Case Closure
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Post by KFree_Reads » 08 Mar 2018, 07:55

Thanks for your very detailed review! I am a bit disappointed in the actual rating but I think I will still give it a shot since I know beforehand what issues I will bump in. I like general idea of the book and feel I can find enjoyment based on that.

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Post by kandscreeley » 08 Mar 2018, 08:34

I can't imagine how hard it is as a writer to keep track of your characters and when they were doing what. However, as a reader, it's very annoying to have these issues. It really takes you away from the story. Thanks for persevering, but I think I'm going to stay away from this one.
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Post by MsTri » 08 Mar 2018, 12:54

Man! There's not too much worse than a great premise falling flat on its face due to author neglect. First and foremost, there is absolutely NO reason that any book should go unedited; even if the author can't afford an actual "Editor", they can surely find SOMEone to assist, even if it means paying a teacher or graduate student; if they can afford to pay for reviews, they can afford that, too!...But I digress.

While I agree that books with a lot going on can be difficult to keep in line, that's where Microsoft Excel - or other similar programs - come in. My boyfriend and I are each writing books and I've created a spreadsheet for each of our books to make sure we don't have any of the kind of goofs mentioned in the review.

And this really sounds like a book I could get into, but I just can't purposefully read yet another book with so many mistakes. Thanks for the warnings!

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Post by RebeccasReading » 09 Mar 2018, 12:02

Yikes. A sloppy timeline would drive me crazy! Thanks for the review.

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Post by lavellan » 09 Mar 2018, 15:26

Thanks for your review! The timeline inconsistencies would have really bothered me as well. I’m happy to hear that most of the flaws pertained to editing issues than the actual content of the book.

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 09 Mar 2018, 21:17

Thank you for the detailed review! The ideology of the plot is very fascinating but the confusions in the plot seem to great to ignore. It will be like spending time on shifting pages to pages just to get the story right. Thank you once again for you details but I prefer to stay away from this one!
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Post by NL Hartje » 10 Mar 2018, 01:29

This certainly isn't for me since I don't enjoy crime or mystery. That being said, cold cases are the most intriguing to me of anything within this genre. It's too bad you had to tough it out. Thanks for making it through so we could have his review!
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Post by WendyB80 » 10 Mar 2018, 11:31

Thank you for your great review. I was considering reading this book and now I know that I probably won't unless I finish a lot of other ones first. Continuity is super important when you are watching a tv series or movie and even more so in a book, since you are the one creating the pictures in your mind.

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Post by Eileen R » 18 Mar 2018, 03:35

Thanks for the great review but i probably wont read the book.

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Post by ViziVoir » 20 Mar 2018, 20:51

Keeping track of grammar and logistics is half the battle of writing a book. It's unfortunate the authors weren't up to par in these areas.

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Post by ChelleLynnC » 21 Mar 2018, 13:27

Thanks for the heads up! What the book is about would be right up my alley, but my OCD would get the best of me and I wouldn’t have been able to continue reading it.

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Post by bookowlie » 23 Mar 2018, 08:57

Thanks for the thorough review! It's too bad about the errors as the premise of the book sound interesting. The timeline inconsistencies would drive me crazy!
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Post by Asen Stoyanchev » 03 Apr 2018, 09:12

kandscreeley wrote:
08 Mar 2018, 08:34
I can't imagine how hard it is as a writer to keep track of your characters and when they were doing what. However, as a reader, it's very annoying to have these issues. It really takes you away from the story. Thanks for persevering, but I think I'm going to stay away from this one.
Just think how hard it is for George.R.R. Martin then, lol :D
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Post by Libs_Books » 06 Apr 2018, 10:50

I appreciate the effort you put into identifying errors in the timeline - you would expect someone writing a detective story to be meticulous in their planning, but clearly that didn't apply here. I'm not sure that I would encourage a young person to read a book about a vigilante unless there was a clear moral slant - if only a recognition of the problems and contradictions, but thanks for a very clear review.

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