Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Grave Situation

Halifax cop Allan Stanton is a troubled homicide detective who has lost everything, including his family and his sense of justice.

When he finally decides to leave the force and start over, he's assigned a string of murders that all bear the signs of a serial killer collecting trophies.

As Stanton unravels each grisly crime scene, the mounting evidence points uncomfortably close to him, forcing him to confront a past he'd rather forget--and a dangerous future when the killer targets Stanton himself.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Alex MacLean's murder mystery, Grave Situation, will have readers frantically flipping pages, taking mental notes for possible suspects, and give them a little trouble sleeping. This is definitely a novel for all murder mystery fans (who don't have a weak stomach.) 

Allan Stanton is a homicide detective in Halifax, NS and after his last case goes cold, Allan's ready to think about leaving his career behind. Especially since it does nothing but tax his life, his job being the main cause of his wife and son leaving him. But then the signs of a serial killer emerge and Allan must focus on catching a killer once again. 

Allan is a wonderful character. He's the cop who chose the profession to help others as much as he can. He treats his cases like people, not forgetting that victims lay at the heart of everything he does. Readers can connect with Allan, perhaps, not based on his career but on his emotions. 

As one of the narrators, Allan is honest with the readers, letting them in on exactly what he's thinking and why it matters. It creates a great bond between the reader and Allan. It's because of that bond, readers want him to catch the killer and put the pieces of his own life back together. 

The supporting cast of characters mesh with Allan so well that the book almost becomes a reality-recorded movie, which makes the plot MacLean weaves absolutely believable. The plot is a perfect arc with build-up, set-backs, multiple climactic points, convergence of sub-plots, and a conclusion that will surprise every reader. (Seriously.)

And the thing is, the giant circle the plot makes is totally understandable. It seems like a news story you could have read about the biggest city near you.  (You'll know what I mean...)

The thing I loved most about this novel was the way it was written. MacLean does a fantastic job at writing the novel in such a way that the reader learns something about being a homicide detective. He is thorough when describing the steps taken by Allan. Not to mention all of the follow up procedures and autopsies. He even goes into great detail about profiling a psychopath! MacLean really brings the reader into the story by using this technique almost making the reader an actual character. 

on Amazon
rating: 4/5 cups

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