Welcome back everyone.
I really need to get back into reviewing more often! My job takes up so much of my time, and then by the time I get home I am fit for nothing!
Let’s get to it;
Now….we all know the old saying “never judge a book by its cover.” Well I did….I judged it hard….but I judged that it would be amazing, that the picture looked good and the title was intriguing….
So basically the story is meant to be based around the murder of a well-to-do family man in the very early 1940s. If I am honest I don’t even know where to begin….
Let’s start from the Blurb.
“A historical murder mystery, Paradox Forged in Blood is set in Cleveland, Ohio, during the late 1930s. Four decades after the murder of socialite Louis Sheridan, the cold case is resurrected with the receipt of new evidence that transports detectives beck to Nazi Germany. The only living witness, Ellen O’Malley, must confront a haunting secret and her complicit actions.”
Now….what I took from the blurb and what I actually got were two different things. I know a Blurb is meant to hype up a book, after all, most people do actually read the blurb before they decide whether they will read the book or not. I took from this blurb that there is a murder of “Louis Sheridan” (tick), it is set in the late 1930s (cross), detectives are transported back to Nazi Germany (cross), Ellen O’Malley has a “haunting secret” (cross). I have also now realised how many times I said “blurb” in this paragraph!
Ok so basically Louis Sheridan is murdered when he arrives home with his wife to find a burglar in his home. Said burglar actually has a few of his own chapters in this book, but his name is never revealed. Mr Sheridan is killed in 1939 as far as I can gather. The book doesn’t begin with a murder like a lot of crime/thrillers/whodunits. It starts off with the birth and early life of Ellen O’Malley….in 1916 and the kidnap of her 1 year old brother….now before I go any further I would just like to say that I really struggled with the relevance to the kidnapped brother, it felt like something used to bulk the book out, or something to try and add more mystique, but it did neither of those things. In the end you fell like (or at least I did) telling the author to just take out the whole kidnap saga, either that or actually make it relevant to the story. Anyway the book also talks about the early life of one of the friends of Ellen O’Malley – Sadie- who briefly worked at the Sheridan home (just before the murder I would like to add) and it gives us a back history to the Sheridan’s and a few other characters. From reading the blurb it makes it sound like the whole book is centered about the late 1930s and they are looking at a historical crime…this is not the case….the murder happened then but the book actually spans from 1916-1996, I found this confusing and as I was reading I didn’t quite understand the bulk of the book. Even as I am typing now I am just confusing myself and I don’t know what to explain next.
There is one spoiler that I will give away (if you don’t want to know what it is then stop reading!)
The murderer is not the kidnapped brother of Ellen….I KNOW RIGHT!? With all the hype about that I really thought it would take that twist, and I would honestly have been happier if that had have been the case.
Ellen’s “haunting secret” is that she saw the killer’s face. -_- <<<< that was literally my face when I realised. I felt like smacking my palm against my forehead. She doesn’t know his name, he isn’t related, nothing, only near the end in the last chapter or so does it reveal that he drove Ellen’s sister home and worked in the theater with her (the sister). She saw his face and could confirm his identity based on another witness who said what he looked like. Work that out. I’m not sure what the Author, Mary Francis Fisher thought “haunting secret” meant, but it certainly wasn’t what most of the population must think. If there had been a big dramatic unveiling or realisation that would have worked!
Nazi Germany really has nothing to do with the book, it felt like someone was giving me an unneeded GCSE history lesson. Nazi Germany only came into play with backstories of the murderer and a couple of characters but in all honesty that was not much to do with anything in my opinion.
Another downside to this book is that it is ended all neat and tidy, all it was missing was a box on top. There are so many cliques in this book, everyone gets married everyone knows everyone, everyone lives happily ever after, except for the random baby kidnapping (I won’t reveal how he is found or in what state but don’t get your hopes up on reading a interesting or thrilling find!)
Now I have probably completely confused you and I swear I’m not telling you to NOT read the book. Some of you will read it and enjoy it, by the looks of some reviews for this book on GoodReads, there are a few who liked it. I just feel like the writing style was hectic and that most of what I read was to bulk out the book. I was disappointed by the plot line.
The idea of the book is great, it just didn’t deliver. I have read a lot of historical crime books or cold case books and this one was missing most of the elements. It maybe would be more suited to a different genre and to not be advertising itself as a “Historical Murder Mystery”
If you do want to buy the book then please do and then leave your thoughts in the comments. I do love a good book discussion.