Sunday, January 11, 2015

Review: Lane Changes by S.L. Ellis

23401454Rating: ★★★1/2 stars
Date published: December 20th, 2014
Publisher:  Black Opal Books
Synopsis: Cassie Cruise wants her life back as a kick-ass P.I. Trouble is, she has zero credibility since bungling a case on reality TV. After a public tantrum, she slinks off to bury her head in the sandy beaches of Southwest Florida. Just as she starts over as the owner of The Big Prick Tattoo Shop, a body is discovered in the trunk of her burning car. Cassie's aware there are those who'd get in line for their turn to torch her car. But murder? 

You don't have to like her, but you damn well better respect her. And get out of her way—this is one case she intends to solve, with or without an audience.

What I Thought:

I was really excited about reading this book.  It sounded exciting and fresh.  I hadn't read a good mystery in a while and it seemed very noir, a genre I'd fallen in love with both reading and watching Veronica Mars.  The book started off great and I was soon turning pages as fast as I could read them, but when the book finished I was left with lots of questions.

While reading the book, I started getting the feeling I was missing back story, so I thought there might be a prequel novella or novel I'd missed.  I did some research and was surprised to discover that this was in fact the first book in a series.  That meant the confusion I had while reading was legitimate.  I also wasn't sure what was going on with some of the characters.  The romance between Cassie and her fiance was negligent and at one point Cassie confessed doing something I didn't recall reading.

When it came to the cast of this mystery, I was always unsure who to trust and what was going on.  I liked Cassie and her determination to find out what was going on, especially since she'd been targeted to take the fall.  However the case was sort of out there and I felt little to no sympathy for anyone I read about.  It seemed like everyone was hiding something. I also wanted to know more about Cassie's apparently spectacular public failure which was only alluded to and not really mentioned.

The mystery while it didn't make much sense, is what had me turning pages.  I wanted to know who had died and why the body was placed in Cassie's trunk.  The more I read, the less I felt I knew.  Even at the end when the killer's identity was revealed, I had no idea why/how the murder had taken place.  I may pick up the second book in this series, whenever it comes out, to see if I can make any more sense of the characters and what's going on in their lives.  

Purchase Links:

About the Author
S. L. Ellis
S.L.Ellis is from a small town in Michigan. After a few decades of scraping and shoveling during the 11 months of winter she was ready for a fresh start. A move to Florida and a few days on the beach improved her disposition a hundred-fold, and it was here that writing became more than a thought. Classes were taken, workshops worked, and a few books written. 

Ellis's short story "A Brush With Death" was published in Vol. 12 DARK TALES, a UK magazine and reviewed by: Vince A. Liaguno, Dark Scribe Magazine, Anthology Reviews: "A Brush with Death is a solid, at times poignant, chiller in which a dying woman--who knows death well after a lifetime of obsession--makes a deal with the Grim Reaper. Ellis's keen observations on aging and death are spot-on." Her short story "If the Shoe Fits" was accepted for publication in HARDLUCK STORIES for its final issue. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and ITW.

* Thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*

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