Friday, September 23, 2011

Unforeseen Fears

Unforeseen Fears, An Armis Ambros Mystery, by H. William Gruchow. Self-published.  Review copy provided by author.

Armis Ambros and his friend Jake like to make bets, small and large, especially on the outcomes of criminal cases they read about in the newspaper.  They're very interested when a body gets dredged out of Emerald Lake, answering the question of what happened to Retha Demond twelve years ago--at least in terms of her ultimate location.  But the sheriff seems to be sweeping the case under the rug awfully quickly, and then another case, this time two adults shot and a child missing and found dismembered, is equally ignored, so Armis gets a little more involved than he usually does.  Digging into old records and asking questions leads Armis into a dangerous world of political corruption that may just land him in the lake, too.

This novel jumps around a lot at first, making it somewhat difficult to follow before it settles into a more linear pattern. Gruchow more or less reveals whodunit in the first chapters, which I personally did not like. I'd rather be allowed to guess along the way in a mystery than have the reveal up front and then have the story show how things turned out this way.  Yes, there are some elements left unstated, and a few more people get killed, but corrupt investigators are shown right away and that's the solution.  Armis and his friend Jake seem to be two old guys meddling around where they shouldn't be.  Their bets are supposed to be humorous, I think, but did not appeal to me that much.  Jake's character is left fairly undeveloped as he mainly functions as a sounding board for Armis, who is supposed to be the brains of the duo--because he's a college professor, after all. Overall, this mystery wasn't to my taste, but others may enjoy it.


Fairday Morrow said...

Super review! The mystery surrounding this book make it sound like an interesting review. Very honest review- love that!

I found you through Book Blogs and signed up to follow you. When you have a chance- please stop by and follow the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published.

Take care-
Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can't figure out why that happens and I can't fix it. :)

Mary said...

Hey Jess--thanks for stopping by! I'm following your blog now, and I read the first few chapters of your book! LMK when it's out and I'll try to get a copy @ the library so I can review it! I've been reading more middle grade books lately, and yours looks really good!

Olga said...

Mary, I would like to present A Book A Day the Versatile Blogger Award. Details are on my blog. Congratulations and thank you for such a wonderful blog!