Official Review: The Candle Room by Daniel K. Gentile

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NL Hartje
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Official Review: The Candle Room by Daniel K. Gentile

Post by NL Hartje » 09 Jul 2018, 11:18

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Candle Room" by Daniel K. Gentile.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Ladies and gentleman of the reader’s theater, today I present to you the case of the criminal law thriller which has put many of the proper elements in place but has failed to earn the moniker of “suspense.” I submit as evidence the likable characters who push the pace of the story and the gruesome crime scene which piques macabre interests. These inclusions make The Candle Room, above all else, an enjoyable read. Where author, Daniel K. Gentile, has failed us, however, is in his inability to surprise.

The Candle Room opens with a news-like retelling of the victim’s life, terminating with the analysis of his murder; Ollie, a self-made millionaire, was brutally bound, stabbed, and then forcibly separated from his feet. End scene and enter green law graduate, Zach Morgan. Outraged by the unethical (and likely unlawful) billing tactics at his new “big-boy” job, Zach decides to strike it out on his own and launch his private firm. Desperate for clients, he accepts a strange case off the coattail of a friend and the Law Office of Zachary E. Morgan officially opened.

Some of the best parts of this book were encased in the conversations Zach has with his rapidly growing clientele. I found myself smirking more than once when introduced to clients ranging from those wanting to sue over barking dogs to those requesting will preparation where literally everything was left to the dogs. The day to day interactions were the most charming parts of this read.

As previously mentioned, though, the plot and resulting climax were not suspenseful. Reading through my notes, I found written on page eight: “XX did it as revenge for XX.” Now, you realize I’ve omitted the spoilers, but suffice it to say—I understood whodunit in chapter one. Not only was the murderer expected, but I felt that they lacked character development. I would have appreciated more little clues throughout that culminated in an ah-ha moment in the end. The killer is revealed in more of a data dump than a stunning revelation. I also found myself wishing for more separation in opposing character traits. For example, Zach, the lawyer, can be heard saying “they must be eatin’ some potent mushrooms,” which seemed very out of character for the learned academic presented to readers.

Specifics aside, this book was very entertaining. The courtroom scenes were dramatic, and Zach’s inner commentary on the proceedings kept me interested as the book moved along and his story slowly began to merge with Ollie’s. Although I enjoyed Gentile’s work and would likely read from him again, I wouldn’t suggest this to crime fans wanting a real head-scratcher. Readers who enjoy a good story and interesting characters though will likely fly through this read. Since it failed in the realm of suspense (and could benefit from the smooth hand of an editor), I am rating this book 3 out of 4 stars. Bailiff, please bring in the next witness.

******
The Candle Room
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Post by Corhan2 » 10 Jul 2018, 03:29

Thank you for this review. I do like legal dramas and this one sounds like one I would like.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 10 Jul 2018, 09:04

I like how you'd laid it all out there in your first paragraph. I'm highly disappointed because I love a good courtroom drama. But unless the intent is for the reader to KNOW who committed a crime from the get-go, I want to be in suspense until the last pages wondering if my guess is accurate or not. Great review as always.

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Post by Helen_Combe » 10 Jul 2018, 10:10

I absolutely love your review. Your reader’s theatre is as entertaining as the book, if not more. :lol:
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NL Hartje
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Post by NL Hartje » 10 Jul 2018, 10:46

Helen_Combe wrote:
10 Jul 2018, 10:10
I absolutely love your review. Your reader’s theatre is as entertaining as the book, if not more. :lol:
:happy-cheerleadersmileygirl:
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Post by MsTri » 10 Jul 2018, 12:11

Ha ha ha; what an awesome review, and I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

Despite the shortcomings you mentioned, I'd really love to give this one a go! I don't mind knowing the killer early one, as I've read many tomes where it was purposefully put in in the beginning, but I still enjoyed reading about the authorities figuring it out. For this book in particular, I also love the idea of meeting Zach's assorted and interesting clients and hearing Zach's thoughts while in court.

I'm also not so sure about Zach's manner of speaking; my other half has a law degree, but when he's not in the court, he speaks Ebonics with the best of us, *lol*. Perhaps Zach too is able to change his ways of speaking depending on where he is?

With that being said, in the case of Ollie, I'd very much love to read the tale! May I leave the stand now?

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Post by NL Hartje » 10 Jul 2018, 13:39

MsTri wrote:
10 Jul 2018, 12:11
Ha ha ha; what an awesome review, and I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

Despite the shortcomings you mentioned, I'd really love to give this one a go! I don't mind knowing the killer early one, as I've read many tomes where it was purposefully put in in the beginning, but I still enjoyed reading about the authorities figuring it out. For this book in particular, I also love the idea of meeting Zach's assorted and interesting clients and hearing Zach's thoughts while in court.

I'm also not so sure about Zach's manner of speaking; my other half has a law degree, but when he's not in the court, he speaks Ebonics with the best of us, *lol*. Perhaps Zach too is able to change his ways of speaking depending on where he is?

With that being said, in the case of Ollie, I'd very much love to read the tale! May I leave the stand now?
Ha, Tri! I ADORE you for playing
along! It truly was a fun read!
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
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Post by teacherjh » 10 Jul 2018, 19:04

I love the style of your review. Very refreshing.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 10 Jul 2018, 20:18

I love the introduction to your review. Well done! While I love suspense and courtroom drama, I hate predictability, so I'll pass on this one. I appreciate your honest review.

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NL Hartje
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Post by NL Hartje » 10 Jul 2018, 22:24

teacherjh wrote:
10 Jul 2018, 19:04
I love the style of your review. Very refreshing.
Thank you! I try to have fun with them :)
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Post by MsTri » 11 Jul 2018, 10:17

NL Hartje wrote:
10 Jul 2018, 13:39
MsTri wrote:
10 Jul 2018, 12:11
Ha ha ha; what an awesome review, and I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

Despite the shortcomings you mentioned, I'd really love to give this one a go! I don't mind knowing the killer early one, as I've read many tomes where it was purposefully put in in the beginning, but I still enjoyed reading about the authorities figuring it out. For this book in particular, I also love the idea of meeting Zach's assorted and interesting clients and hearing Zach's thoughts while in court.

I'm also not so sure about Zach's manner of speaking; my other half has a law degree, but when he's not in the court, he speaks Ebonics with the best of us, *lol*. Perhaps Zach too is able to change his ways of speaking depending on where he is?

With that being said, in the case of Ollie, I'd very much love to read the tale! May I leave the stand now?
Ha, Tri! I ADORE you for playing
along! It truly was a fun read!

And I ADORED your review! Now I've got to up my own review-writing game, ha ha!

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Post by Julie Green » 12 Jul 2018, 16:55

I like your review! And I do like a good courtroom drama. It sounds like this one doesn't quite hit the market - I particularly agree with you that a data dump is an unsatisfactory way for the answer to a mystery to be revealed.
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Post by NL Hartje » 13 Jul 2018, 12:06

Julie Green wrote:
12 Jul 2018, 16:55
I like your review! And I do like a good courtroom drama. It sounds like this one doesn't quite hit the market - I particularly agree with you that a data dump is an unsatisfactory way for the answer to a mystery to be revealed.
They can't all be winners I suppose :no-spoil:
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Post by SamSim » 13 Jul 2018, 16:06

Now that I've been sufficiently warned about what is disappointing with regard to this book, I think what's "right" with it still has me intrigued, assuming it's not terribly graphic. ("Forcibly separated from his feet" is not something I want more details about!) Great review!
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Post by JR Mercier » 14 Jul 2018, 05:59

Ladies and gentleman of the reader’s theater, today I present to you the case of the criminal law thriller which has put many of the proper elements in place but has failed to earn the moniker of “suspense.” I submit as evidence the likable characters who push the pace of the story and the gruesome crime scene which piques macabre interests. These inclusions make The Candle Room, above all else, an enjoyable read. Where author, Daniel K. Gentile, has failed us, however, is in his inability to surprise.
I have honestly never enjoyed reading the intro to a review more. :tiphat:
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