27 September 2010 ~ 2 Comments

Decisions by R. Doug Wicker (Kindle Only)

I loved the premise and plot of this book, it was well thought out and planned. While it required a pretty big suspension of belief, I really enjoyed the main character, his back story and predicament. When the writing was good, it was really very good. The author clearly has a talent for dialogue and snappy writing. There were several times I found myself giggling to myself. The dialogue, while really wonderful, may have also been the author’s downfall. There’s just so much of it that I feel like we didn’t get to the meat of the characters and who they truly were. Even for a quick slapstick mystery, it was a little thin on character development.

I was also impressed with the lack of spelling and grammatical errors. Self-published books seem to be rife with them as a whole. However, I think the book could have done with a bit of a content editor. There was a large chunk in the middle that could have easily been cut back or completely done away with. Worse, I felt like the author kept drawing big red arrows to a certain item (don’t wanna give spoilers) that was obviously planted for a reason. I was kind of disappointed in that part.

None of this detracts from the fact that it’s a well executed book, overall. Other than those few little personal niggles, I thought it was a fun ride and most of it kept me guessing until the very end. I totally missed a lot of it, actually, so good for the author – I’ve become pretty adept at figuring out the who/what/when/where/why/how these days.

This is recommended for those that like quirky mystery suspense books with an island flair. Would make for a great vacation book – or, frankly, a good escape from all the “extended family fun” with the upcoming holidays.

Donovan Grant witnessed something no man should have to see—a crime so horrendous with a death count so high that the memories haunt his every waking and sleeping moment, a crime for which he holds himself solely and completely responsible. The images replaying over and over within his mind have cost him his career, his marriage, and a good measure of his sanity.

Now, nearly eighteen months later and totally incapable of making even the simplest of decisions, Grant ekes out a meager existence working at an exclusive resort on the privately owned Fijian Island of Vai Kai. But there are some problems intruding upon this idyllic, decision-free existence: People are being murdered, the island is cut off by an approaching hurricane, and Grant is his own—and everyone else’s—prime suspect. During each additional uptick in the body count, Grant is suffering either from a blackout or a flashback to “That Day.” And then there’s his unfortunate propensity to be found standing over the victims’ bodies while holding the murder weapon in his blood-stained hands.

One woman separates Donovan Grant from total insanity and complete resignation. But Kelly LaBrecque has her own little problem—while Grant has the opportunity in each murder, only she has the motive. Stacking up in the resort’s refrigerated food locker are the bodies of Kelly’s ex-husband and the mistress who broke apart their marriage. It’s as if Grant is knocking off anyone who ever crossed her.

As the murders continue, the evidence against Grant piles up, and the latest choice of victims, the mistress’ milquetoast husband, mean Kelly herself may be next for cold storage, and Grant may be the one who places her there. Kelly and Grant must work feverishly to evaluate the clues and the ever-dwindling number of residents of Vai Kai—desperately racing the forces of nature and the killer that stalks them all.

In the end, Grant will have to come face-to-face with the killer, with himself, and with the demon that has haunted his remorse-filled, guilt-laden mind for far too long.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Book count for 2010: 72

2 Responses to “Decisions by R. Doug Wicker (Kindle Only)”

  1. R. Doug Wicker 28 September 2010 at 12:48 pm Permalink

    Many, many thanks for the in-depth review, Candy. I really appreciate both the time and effort you invested in writing it. And, rest assured, I look at all criticism with an eye toward improving my writing in future works and I’ll be taking a hard look at the flaws you perceived in this effort with the intent of doing just that.

    Best wishes,
    R. Doug Wicker

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