Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How the Mighty Fall by E.J. Chadwell

The mysterious disappearance of media mogul Connie Ross during a party on her yacht exposes a web of dark and twisted secrets.  Jimmy Frail, Chief of Detectives, suspecting foul play and the potential media circus, partners a most unlikely pair of detectives.  Gigi Mirabelli, a missing persons' officer, is recalled early from maternity leave to work with Harry Burns, a brilliant, but tormented homicide detective looking to restart his sidelined career.

Suspecting murder, but unable and needing to prove it, Mirabelli and Burns must first find a way to work together before they can hope to solve this perplexing crime.  They first develop a working partnership of opposites and then skillfully sift through the evidence; all while walking the political and media tightrope in this high profile case.  (taken from Amazon description)

I had some issues in the beginning with this one.  It starts off like an episode of Colombo.  That part, I was thrilled with!  I love Colombo!  The author making a comment about Colombo a bit later on makes me feel like this was done intentionally, which I think is wonderful.  However, we don't get treated with a Colomboesque character.  Instead, we're treated to these horrid people who I would never want to be around.  Some of the characters are cliched, but that isn't the real issue.  Even the heroes of the story are jerks.  There's a point where they're discussing the possible suspects and they say that they're all basically greedy, selfish hypocrites.  So are our  main characters!  My goodness!  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!  This setting of characters in the beginning nearly ended up ruining the book for me.  Since I don't like any of the characters, I don't care what they do.  I don't care if they catch the bad guy.  I don't care about the bad guy.  I don't care.  I just don't care.  The only thing worse than characters I feel apathetic about is having all characters that I can't stand.

Now!  There actually is a fun story here once you get past the first hundred pages and you can ignore the characters' personalities.  I was able to figure out who the murderer was right away (and I was right!), however, I was really impressed with the number of misdirections that Chadwell planted.  I second guessed myself several times.  I still stuck to my original hypothesis and waited it out, but I did have to question myself quite a bit and that made for a lot of fun.  Most of the time I was waiting for the police to catch up to where I was, but that's alright.  It's always fun to watch a bit of stumbling.  In the meantime, they uncover all sorts of delicious, juicy stuff that I wasn't expecting.

I was incredibly pleased with the ending of this book!  I won't give any spoilers, but it's exactly what I was hoping for.  I wasn't given a bunch of fake ribbons to tie up a package that wasn't ready to be gifted.  I love a good ending where things happen naturally instead of being forced.  My only issue is the epilogue.  Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing.  Or an annoying thing.  Either way.  It could easily have been cut off and would have left the story in a much better place.  As for me, I wish I'd stopped reading before the epilogue.  I would have had a much more satisfying read.  However, I do see how that could be important to some readers.  I felt like it was handing me those ribbons that I was thankful to not receive.

This book has well-created but horrible characters, an easily solved mystery that still has plenty of plot twists, and an entertaining read once you get into it.  Don't give up after the first few chapters!  It will be worth it!

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