3 out of 4 stars
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Pancake Money by Finn Bell
A cop, Bobby, and his partner are assigned to a case involving the gruesome murders of priests. They know they need to find the motive behind the murders before they can find out who is responsible. There are surprises and challenges around every corner but Bobby and his partner are resilient. Each new unexpected twist brings them closer to solving the mystery, even though they don't always realize it. Bobby uses his knowledge of criminal psychology to try to offer an explanation for what's happening. Ultimately, the line between right and wrong and good and evil becomes blurred for Bobby as he comes close to solving the case.
The story is fast paced and action packed. There are several intense moments throughout the whole story line. Everything occurs in a short time frame and the chapters are broken down into the activities that occur that particular day. This layout keeps readers engaged and entertained. Most of the characters are brought to life through detailed descriptions and development. We learn about Bobby's family and that adds depth to his character. The relationship between Bobby and his partner is also well developed.
I am personally interested in psychology and liked that additional layer to the story. Criminal psychology is explored throughout the course of the book. It ties well in to the plot and provides interesting insight into the possible mindset of whomever may be responsible for the crimes. However, it could have been written a little more efficiently in some places. The idea and point was made clear but sometimes the author continued to reiterate what was already concluded. This slowed down the progress of the story and caused it to drag on a little too much in those spots.
Unfortunately, due to the short timeline, some story details feel unrealistic. It's implausible that a person could physically do so much in so little time. However, this is a minor flaw and almost goes unnoticed because of the quality of the thrill and suspense.
The title of the book doesn't tie in to the story the way I think the author was intending. I kept waiting for a bigger connection. Also, part of the ending was a little predictable and lacked some satisfaction. Anyone familiar with crime novels or murder mysteries might anticipate part of the ending. However, there is enough surprise to the rest of the ending that the book isn't ruined by this one weak aspect.
I would give this book a 3 out of 4 stars. Despite its flaws, the overall story is entertaining and suspenseful. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys crime and murder mystery books. However, because of the few disappointing elements, I can't give it a 4 out of 4.
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