Release Date: July 26, 2010
Publisher: Carina Press
Dylan Scott Mysteries Book #1
I received a e-copy of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review.
From the author’s website:
Dylan Scott has problems. Dismissed in disgrace from the police force for assaulting a suspect, he has no job, his wife has thrown him out and—worse luck—his mother has moved in. So when Holly Champion begs him to investigate the disappearance of her mother thirteen years ago, he can’t say no, even though it means taking up residence in the dreary Lancashire town of Dawson’s Clough for the duration.
Although the local police still believe Anita Champion took off for a better life, Dylan’s inquiries turn up plenty of potential suspects: the drug-dealing, muscle-bound bouncer at the club where Anita was last seen; the missing woman’s four girlfriends, out for revenge; the local landowner with rumored mob connections—the list goes on. But no one is telling Dylan all they know—and he soon finds that one sleepy Northern town can keep a lot of secrets.
What I’m talking about:
Heads up and note: THIS IS NOT A ROMANCE. THIS IS NOT A PARANORMAL-THEMED BOOK! *shock* I know… I can expand my horizons!
Okay, so now that I have that out of the way, I want to tell you about this great mystery I just read… First of all, we have our hero, Dylan Scott. The poor man has had a bit of a tough run and we catch him trying to pull his life back to some normalcy. After being kicked off the police force and spending time in jail, his self-esteem and pride have taken a huge hit. His wife is tired of his attitude and kicks him out. Dylan’s chance to turn himself around falls to Holly Champion. He is contacted by Holly to find her missing mother and she persuades him by insisting he is the only one for the job. In order to repair some of the problems in his life, Dylan decides to take on the case, even though he is convinced that nothing good will come of it.
I like Dylan. He’s a good man. His investigative technics are not unusual, but he is so personable that he gets the information he needs from complete strangers. I enjoyed following him around as he searched for the truth. In addition, he is convinced that his wife, Bev, will see the errors of her ways and allow him back into the marital home. His ignorance of their problems, his honest desire to return home and his interactions with his son, Luke, helped shape Dylan and create a lovable character. I found myself pulling for this poor, deluded man the whole time. I shared his enthusiasm for his work and his desire to return home.
The mystery itself is captivating. The story pulled me in quickly, using multiple point-of-views to tell the tale. We are not only privy to Dylan’s thought-process, but we are able to see what the suspects and other players are up to with this very effective writing style. Each turn of events had me guessing and re-writing theories in my mind.
The side characters are also enjoyable. Dylan’s mom doesn’t make much of an appearance, but she is a hoot (or at least how she bothers Dylan is). Simple Stevie is one of those observant, mis-treated, pleasant characters that everyone overlooks except Dylan. And again, Dylan shines in his relationship with Stevie. All of the suspects are plausible and interesting. All-in-all, this is an enjoyable story!
Really enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)
READERS: Don’t forget… The author, Shirley Wells, has generously donated an electronic copy of her book, Presumed Dead to giveaway to you. Please leave a comment on this review or on yesterday’s interview with Ms. Wells. The contest is open to everyone (international). Comments must be posted by Thursday October 14, 2010 at 9:00PM EDT.