Official Review: Flirting with The Moon by Andrew McDermott

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joshfee77
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Official Review: Flirting with The Moon by Andrew McDermott

Post by joshfee77 » 25 Aug 2018, 20:04

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Flirting with The Moon" by Andrew McDermott.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Flirting with The Moon is a crime thriller by Andrew McDermott. Los Angeles detective Joe Dean is hunting The Moon, a serial killer who has struck on the first night of each new moon for the past eleven months. Desperate to catch the killer, Joe offers a one-week holiday in Vegas to any cop who gets the job done. Dean is an alcoholic, married to his job, whose wife leaves him, taking their son with her. On the twelfth night of the new moon, he sends his partner Sanchez to pick up Mexican takeaway. She doesn't return. When Joe arrives back at the precinct, he finds a Mexican takeaway box, delivered with something warm inside it. He has to take a long drink of Jack Daniels before he can bring himself to look in the box...

Twenty-five years later, now working as a private investigator, Joe stumbles across a book called "Flirting with The Moon" in a library he is staking out for a client. The dedication inside says: "For my old friend Joe." Published in Sydney, Australia, it leads Joe to a small coastal town in Far North Queensland. After so many years, is The Moon in Candle Stick Bay?

The opening scene with the takeaway box delivered to the police station was chilling. McDermott built the tension beautifully, from the moment Joe's partner disappeared to the point where he was drinking alcohol at his desk, staring at the unopened box. The author cut the scene here, only revealing the contents of the box later. This was an excellent example of psychological terror. Also, having a serial killer write a book describing their own crimes was a plot device I had not seen used before, a clever idea which really hooked me into the story.

McDermott's description of the beauty of Queensland and its beaches was strong. One example as Joe flew north toward Candle Stick Bay told of how "the ocean glistened and shone to my right, rippling like molten glass." The dialogue was good, incorporating much Australian slang. As an Aussie myself, it was good to see some accuracy in the portrayal of our laid-back attitude and certain phrases and customs. McDermott's writing was fitting for crime fiction, snappy and easy to read. The author was born in England but had lived for 30 years on the Gold Coast in Queensland, which explains his solid knowledge of the local people and landscape.

The main negative about Flirting with The Moon was its editing; it contained many minor errors, including a few misspelled words. There were also examples of missing punctuation mid-sentence, such as: "I don't think it was a burglary nothing was taken or disturbed." This should have had either a semicolon or hyphen after "burglary" or simply a new sentence. The only other minor issue was my sense of disbelief about how many of the characters in the tiny coastal town of Candle Stick Bay had lived in Los Angeles at some point around the time of the murders. This seemed a little too convenient for my liking but was obviously used to offer a decent list of suspects and help keep the killer's identity a mystery.

Due to the need for an edit, I rate Flirting with The Moon 3 out of 4 stars. With its errors fixed, it would be a definite 4 stars. It was a solid mystery with a ton of red herrings and kept me guessing right up until the killer's identity was finally known. I would highly recommend it to fans of crime thrillers, particularly those interested in serial killers. Those put off by infrequent violence and gore may wish to bypass this one.

******
Flirting with The Moon
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Post by Kibetious » 27 Aug 2018, 06:06

This is a very interesting book. Thanks for your nice review that has helped me to identify and pick this book if an opportunity comes along. The review is well written and I enjoyed reading it. I hope that the highlighted errors will be corrected so as not to deny this book a perfect rating.
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Post by OrlaCarty » 27 Aug 2018, 06:21

That opening scene really does sound chilling, I was squirming while reading your description! Thank you for the review.

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Post by AmySmiles » 27 Aug 2018, 06:56

Oh wow, I really was caught by your description of the opening scene. Not sure if I'll pick this book up in it's current state, but with some editing I could be convinced. Thanks for the review.
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Post by daydreaming reader » 27 Aug 2018, 11:22

I think the idea of the serial killer writing a book about his crimes and dedicating it to the detective is certainly intriguing. I have never seen or read anything similar. I agree though that having many potential suspects in a small town seems kind of hard to believe. I still think I would read it, after some editing. Thank you for great review.
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Post by kandscreeley » 27 Aug 2018, 15:10

It's amazing how many books out there just don't seem to be edited. Though, I think sometimes authors come here before even sending it to a proofreader to see if it's worth it. Still, the story sounds quite suspenseful and is one I'll have to consider putting on my to read shelf. Thanks!
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Post by sonya01 » 28 Aug 2018, 03:44

Great review! The plot summary give the reader just enough information to stir their interest and your comments on the writing techniques are interesting. Also, it was interesting to read your comments about the grammar issues. I as a reader would definitely be interested in this book after reading your review - well done!

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Post by kfwilson6 » 29 Aug 2018, 15:20

Murder mysteries are amazing. They are horrifying and yet so compelling at the same time. I love your description of the opening scene at the start of your review. It really drew me in. The concept of the murderer writing a book about his crimes is quite different. Definitely adding this one to my bookshelf for later.

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Post by joshfee77 » 29 Aug 2018, 16:38

Kibetious wrote:
27 Aug 2018, 06:06
This is a very interesting book. Thanks for your nice review that has helped me to identify and pick this book if an opportunity comes along. The review is well written and I enjoyed reading it. I hope that the highlighted errors will be corrected so as not to deny this book a perfect rating.
I found it very engaging and it kept me guessing all the way through. Thanks for commenting!
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Post by joshfee77 » 29 Aug 2018, 16:42

OrlaCarty wrote:
27 Aug 2018, 06:21
That opening scene really does sound chilling, I was squirming while reading your description! Thank you for the review.
Yeah, Seven is one of my favourite movies of all time. If you haven't seen it... well, there's a box. Truly chilling stuff, and done very well in this book, too. Thanks for your comments.
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Post by joshfee77 » 29 Aug 2018, 16:44

AmySmiles wrote:
27 Aug 2018, 06:56
Oh wow, I really was caught by your description of the opening scene. Not sure if I'll pick this book up in it's current state, but with some editing I could be convinced. Thanks for the review.
Thanks! Yeah, a really good, entertaining thriller that kept me reading all the way through.
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Post by joshfee77 » 30 Aug 2018, 16:31

daydreaming reader wrote:
27 Aug 2018, 11:22
I think the idea of the serial killer writing a book about his crimes and dedicating it to the detective is certainly intriguing. I have never seen or read anything similar. I agree though that having many potential suspects in a small town seems kind of hard to believe. I still think I would read it, after some editing. Thank you for great review.
Definitely worth reading this one. A highly entertaining thriller. And the book idea was... novel. :wink:
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Post by joshfee77 » 30 Aug 2018, 16:33

kandscreeley wrote:
27 Aug 2018, 15:10
It's amazing how many books out there just don't seem to be edited. Though, I think sometimes authors come here before even sending it to a proofreader to see if it's worth it. Still, the story sounds quite suspenseful and is one I'll have to consider putting on my to read shelf. Thanks!
Yeah, tons of unedited books out there! This one is a great story though, well worth a read. Thanks for your comments.
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Post by joshfee77 » 30 Aug 2018, 16:34

sonya01 wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 03:44
Great review! The plot summary give the reader just enough information to stir their interest and your comments on the writing techniques are interesting. Also, it was interesting to read your comments about the grammar issues. I as a reader would definitely be interested in this book after reading your review - well done!
Thanks! It really was an entertaining read all the way through. Really enjoyed it.
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Post by joshfee77 » 30 Aug 2018, 16:36

kfwilson6 wrote:
29 Aug 2018, 15:20
Murder mysteries are amazing. They are horrifying and yet so compelling at the same time. I love your description of the opening scene at the start of your review. It really drew me in. The concept of the murderer writing a book about his crimes is quite different. Definitely adding this one to my bookshelf for later.
Yeah, I love a good murder mystery, and this one had me guessing all the way through. Very well plotted. Thanks for commenting!
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