DROWN TOWN Author: Steven J. Silverman Publisher: Self-published Rating: 3/5
Cozies or cozy mysteries have always intrigued me for two reasons- one, they are light on the mind; two, they have sex and violence off the platter. The focus is on the who-dun-it which later transforms into a warfield laden with landmines (secrets). Step on one and several secrets will reveal the true arc of a character! Drown Town does justice to the entire concept of Cozies! It’s light, quick and entertaining till the very last page.
Summer Splash, the pinnacle event in Diamond Glen’s 55+ community, transforms from a joyous celebration to an enigmatic thriller in ‘Diamond Glen Secrets.’ Author Samantha ‘Sam’ Whitmore, renowned for her mystery novels, finds herself thrust into a real-life detective role when the annual festivity takes an unexpected turn.
The novel introduces us to a cast of characters with more secrets than meets the eye, including the protagonist duo, Sam and her ex-husband, dog-walking partner Mac. As the narrative unfolds, the drowning of the notorious dog-hater Sandy Crowley becomes the focal point. The police attribute it to a simple accident during a late-night swim, but Sam, armed with her keen detective instincts, questions the official account.
The strength of this tale lies in its meticulous weaving of suspense, humour, and a touch of the supernatural. The unexpected perspective provided by Hueby, the once-canine-now-guardian-angel, adds a delightful layer to the narrative. Through his eyes, readers gain unique insights into the lives of Diamond Glen’s residents, emphasizing the interconnected web of secrets and intrigue.
Steve skillfully navigates the balance between the fictional mystery world and the very real crime unfolding in Diamond Glen. The juxtaposition of Sam’s expertise in crafting fictional whodunnits with the gritty reality of investigating a neighbour’s death makes for a compelling narrative tension.
The community’s seemingly idyllic exterior gradually peels away to reveal layers of complexity. Each resident harbours a clandestine history, turning Diamond Glen into a microcosm of concealed truths.
‘Drown Town’ is not just a mystery; it’s a reflection on the human condition and the lengths people go to protect their hidden lives. The characters are well-developed, each with a unique motive and alibi that keeps readers guessing until the very end. The author’s storytelling prowess shines in creating an immersive atmosphere, making Diamond Glen come alive with its poolside dramas and covert affairs.
However, it seems there are some nuances that could be addressed to enhance the overall coherence and completeness of the writing. First, the blurb. It’s too long and verbose; it, practically, gives away the entire plot. Second, the short dialogues become overkill as you keep progressing. In addition to this, the eventual climax falls short of slow burn that was expected.
In conclusion, ‘Drown Town’ is a well-crafted mystery novel that transcends the genre. It captivates with its engaging plot, well-drawn characters, and the clever inclusion of a four-legged, now otherworldly, observer. Fans of mystery, humour, and a touch of the supernatural will find this novel a delightful and satisfying read.
Best wishes to the author!
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