Cause to Kill
Cause to Kill is the first novel in Blake Pierce’s Avery Black Mystery series. While I don’t normally read mystery (crime) novels, I had been scrolling through the free ebooks in my Nook app and Cause to Kill sounded interesting. Oddly, even though I don’t read much in this genre, I watch a lot of Mystery/Crime genre tv shows (like Criminal Minds or NCIS).
There were a few things I enjoyed about this novel; there were some things that irked me. Let’s start with the things I liked. Avery Black is a female cop, who has just been promoted to the Homocide department. She is an ex-lawyer, and the majority of the other cops do not like her for this past work. She tries to be a strong female in a male dominated profession. I did like Avery, but I did have some issues with her character development. She jumps from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other end pretty quickly, so it’s hard to get a feeling for her normal personality (or normal state of being). After finishing this first novel, I don’t feel entirely sure I know what Avery is like.
In addition to (mostly) liking Avery, I did enjoy the storyline. It was an engaging story (if a little rehashed, but I’ve watched a LOT of crime drama so I may just be too familiar with it). I enjoyed the spins Pierce added by including the killer’s perspective and his rationalizations behind his killings.
Now, what I didn’t like about Cause to Kill. First, this book could have spent more time with an editor. There were a lot of grammatical errors and typos, many more than I can excuse being a writer and editor myself. One example I found of this in Avery’s dialogue is, “We were never been partners.” I’m going to leave it with that one example, otherwise this review will turn into discussion on proper grammar.
Next issue: Avery’s partner is introduced as Officer Ramirez. Readers are not told his first name until their captain is issuing orders and the captain refers to Ramirez as Dan. This wouldn’t be an issue if the context would show that the captain is speaking to Ramirez, but the captain lists orders addressed to multiple people before he gets to Dan.
And the third issue I will mention is I noticed shifting point-of-views during Avery’s point-of-view. The best example of this is Avery will call her coworkers on the phone and details of what these people look like and are doing is conveyed to the reader. Avery would have no way of knowing these details unless she was told them, but the details still appear in the text.
All-in-all I did enjoy the novel, but the issues I pointed out distracted me a lot from that enjoyment. I am on the fence about paying for the next novel in this series because of the issues I found with this novel, but I did download Before He Kills (another free ebook) the first novel in another series by Pierce, so we’ll see how that one goes and maybe I’ll continue with this series.