Sep 032014
 
Review: Silent PartnerSilent Partner by Stan Schatt
Published by Pen-L Publishing on Sept 1, 2014
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Paranormal
Format: eARC from Author
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Detective "Frankie" Ryan tracks a sadistic killer while the press attacks her as a feminist vigilante who takes the law into her own hands. The only one who can help her is a tabloid reporter who can't decide if he's a psychic who sees ghosts or just someone going insane. As they search for the killer in a sunny seacoast city's seamy S&M underside, they begin to question everything they know about sexual identity. How can they find the killer before he strikes again when he defies description? Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery, a police procedure novel with a female detective that will remind you of Harry Bosch, a ghost story that suggests what lies beyond death, and a comic look at a tabloid where the truth is whatever sells.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

While the description of this book does mention this is a paranormal police procedural, this doesn’t read like the Urban Fantasy story I was expecting. This is a old school hardboiled detective story, with a paranormal slant that feels out of place. The overall feel was a bit disjointed, and quite clunky, but the story itself was solid.

From a character stance, I really liked Josh. He’s a trash magazine reporter who develops psychic abilities when he turns 30. He has some trouble adjusting, and waivers between thinking this is gift and a curse. His internal thoughts about this felt natural and realistic. His desire to use this ability in a meaningful way is understandable, and I found his choices to be commendable.

I had a harder time with Frankie. She has a history that isn’t fully discussed, although it definitely affects her current actions. I found her to be a bit underdeveloped and shallow, which made her a difficult character to understand or like. I think that with a bit more back story she’d be a robost character. As is, she’s pretty one-dimensional and forgettable.

The plot itself tackled a very sensitive subject. It did so in a very educational and respectful way, although it was a bit flat. I appreciate the care taken with the subject, but found this approach was a little dry as a book plot.

Overall, this book had an interesting idea with lots of potential, but the execution fell a bit short. The old school detectives and psychic abilities didn’t mesh well and I’m left wondering if there was a better way to marry them.

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