Monday, December 14, 2009

Review: The Black Minute

By Christopher Valen

From the back of the book:

“The body of a young Hmong woman is found on Harriet Island near the Mississippi River. It appears to be a simple case of murder and revenge. But what begins as a routine investigation soon morphs into something far more sinister.”

Christopher Valen returns with his second book featuring John Santana, a St. Paul police officer and detective. Santana has what I found to be an endearing personality and Valen did an excellent job of bringing his cast to life.

However, I found some of his descriptions a little drawn out. For example, I don’t need to know the exact details of what a person was wearing – unless it’s a key point for the story – or what they ate for breakfast. For me, it was a distraction from the story line and I found myself skimming over some parts to get back to the action.

And I did enjoy the story line, so I wouldn’t hesitate to read other books by this author. I liked his characters and his short, punchy chapters.

Valen is an excellent writer and since this is only his second book, I’ll be waiting to see if he becomes more polished in subsequent novels.

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