3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Almost Mortal by Christopher Leibig is a crime/mystery story that revolves around Samson "Sam" Young, a criminal defense attorney in Bennet County, Virginia. Sam occasionally worked off the books helping people with legal problems. So, it wasn't a hard decision to make when he agreed to help his late mother's friends, Camille Paradisi and Father Andrada, on the Rosslyn Ripper case.
The Rosslyn Ripper was a serial killer on the loose who had been involved with 3 murders. Someone confessed to Father Andrada at the church about being the Rosslyn Ripper. Father Andrada had to make a decision between reporting the person and adhering to the clergy-pertinent privilege. Sam had to carry out a private investigation into the case to protect Father Andrada. Simultaneously, someone (I'll use "X" to avoid any spoilers) suspected to be the Rosslyn Ripper was sending pages of a journal to the church, which Camille forwarded to Sam to help with his investigation. The journal contained X's life stories. Sam discovered that he was similar to X in many ways, and as he continued to read, things became clearer.
I look at Almost Mortal as two different stories that are related. The first being Sam's story, and the second being X's story. While I really enjoyed reading both stories, I felt like the second story outshone the first in many ways. The stories in the journal had more adventure and mystery about them. The writing styles in both stories are very different as if they were really written by two different people. The stories in the journal used a more detailed writing style. It was like I was right there as X adventured through Bariloche, Argentina, to Havana, Cuba, then, to Miami, U.S.A. There were also points where thought-provoking questions about God were raised in the journal.
Reading Sam's story as he investigated the Rosslyn Ripper case was interesting, as I tried to pick up on clues the author gave. However, I found the clues small in number and inconclusive, and I wasn't able to figure out who the Ripper was before the end. Christopher focused more on developing the plot than the characters, but he did an awesome job on Sam's character. Sam was very relatable. He lost both parents at a very young age, and it influenced him in so many ways, including his work helping people, his lack of faith in God, and his drinking and smoking habits. Initially, I wished the author had put more into the development of some of the other characters. However, I later realized that knowing more about some characters would have taken away from the mystery part of the story.
Almost Mortal is well edited and well organized. The author moved between the two stories in a way that didn't get me confused at any time. I only found two minor errors throughout the book, which was impressive because I put a lot of effort into seeking out errors. There wasn't much to dislike about this book. I would have liked more suspense in the story, and the ending didn't quite match my expectations.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Almost Mortal. It is definitely a book that I would go back to reading again. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The lack of suspense and the book's ending made it less perfect for me, but the execution of the overall story deserves more than a 2-star rating. I would recommend this book to fans of crime and mystery stories. There was also an element of romance, but I'm not sure it's enough for romance fans to enjoy this book. The sex scenes in the novel, while not very descriptive, mean that I would not recommend this book to a younger audience.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like prospero360's review? Post a comment saying so!