“Dating a Chance” is a—extremely—literary work of mystery. Simply, the story is about the seemingly freakish deaths of a prominent scientist and a few people close to him shortly thereafter. J-L (yes, that is his name) was working on manipulating particles at a quantum level in order to create positive outcomes. Essentially: fabricating good luck and fortune (kind of Like the X-Force team member Domino). But his untimely death leaves the research almost lost, and while some of J-L’s colleagues begin hunting for his missing notes, others begin wondering if his random death was all that accidental, as those close to J-L also begin dying under mysterious circumstances as well. Professor Brown and his chess partner Steve begin the hunt for the truth in what is a high-brow and unique twist on a murder mystery novel. However, this interesting premise was often lost in the authors’ narration.
Don’t let the title fool you, “Girl in Disguise” is no where near the same genre of things like “Gone Girl” or “Girl on the Train” or “All the Missing Girls” –this is not a thriller. I don’t know when thrillers decided to go that route with titles, but this book is actually a historical fiction about the first female Pinkerton Detective, Kate Warne. Not much is actually known about Kate other than she was, indeed, the first female detective and she was hired by Pinkerton himself. There is speculation that she was a widow—something tragic and world altering must have occurred for a woman of her time to seek this kind of employment—and there were rumors she was having a long-term affair with Pinkerton, but none of this has been proven. There are also no verified pictures of her, which, as a spy, I’m sure the real-life Kate was happy for. This lack of substantiated information into Kate’s life allowed Macallister to have a great deal of freedom when writing Kate’s story, and she uses it to take the reader on a fun, historically accurate ride!
I’ve been on a kind of thriller/suspense kick lately. It’s an odd mix, I like to go back and forth between fantasy and this for reasons I can’t explain. So after reading books by Robert Bugoni, I picked up “A Dark Mind” on the Kindle Unlimited. I thought I’d be kicking myself by starting the Lizzy Gardner series with this book (it’s the 3rd) but it was fine. Like any crime drama, each in the series is a nice contained experience. So if you haven’t read any of the other in the series, not a big deal in my opinion and honestly, starting with the first in the exploits of Lizzy Gardner was probably not going to help the story or the writing all that much regardless.
I’ve been on a mystery / thriller kick lately and “My Sister’s Grave” really hit the spot. It was like reading an episode of “Bones” meets “Law and Order: SVU”. I shouldn’t really compare books to TV shows but forgive me this, I don’t read a ton in this genre all the time so TV shows are the easiest comparisons I can make. It didn’t have any of the TV show “Bones” absurd science where you magnify the pixels from a reflection in a doorknob to positively I.D your killer (which is a good thing) and it didn’t spend an inordinate amount of time describing the heinous crimes like in SVU, it gave you enough so you got the idea and then moved on (also, a good thing). Instead, Dugoni gives us a no-nonsense female homicide detective who started her career not as a cop, but as a high school chemistry teacher who also competed in shooting competitions. She’s smart. Tough as nails. She’s a believable badass and I love it.
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