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today 6/2/16 on aobibliosphere™ [aobibliospotlight™: A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart]

Friday, August 26, 2011

review: incidents at Spitchley’s Crossing by Alberta C. Nelson

“I specialize in murders of quiet, domestic interest.” - Agatha Christie

Incidents at Spitchley's Crossing
after its Fourth of July weekend celebration, the small rich town of Spitchley’s Crossing, Mississippi is plagued  by a series of murders and robberies. the remaining 1,200 residents are shaken to the core as the murderer remains scot-free. with no clues to work on, the police and FBI are extremely baffled. little did they know that the person responsible was right under their very noses and laughing behind their backs.
Incidents at Spitchley’s Crossing, published by Dorrance Publishing, recounts the disturbing events that happened in 1946. the serial killer's identity is revealed to the readers from the get-go. this is an approach that i am not quite fond of when i read mysteries or thrillers. i feel cheated somehow so i was curious to find out how the writer would develop and sustain the plot with this style. unfortunately i was very disappointed.
the book opens with a substantial description of Spitchley’s Crossing, moves on to talk about that fateful weekend and the events which followed. the narrator's voice (and words used) sounded like it was coming from a young person so i thought the one doing the talking was the boy referred to in the blurb. as i continued reading, i started to get confused. the point of view suddenly changed from the first person to the third person and back. in fact, the shifting of POVs appeared to have gone haywire! i could normally identify who is talking based on the context or on how a paragraph or chapter is specifically formatted but with this book i was simply confounded!
at times it would be the sociopath Justin Cosoloski talking. suddenly it would be someone else and that someone would be replaced by another one. then without warning, it would revert to the unknown narrator, etc.
aside from the constantly switching perspectives, there is a problem with tense formation. i do not claim to be a grammar guru but i know my basics. the inconsistent use of the present and past tenses made my reading more tedious.
i also noticed typos and i know when not to refer to a criminal as being "illusive". aside from this, the tendency to bombard the reader with how the citizens felt during those months was too much. sure, they were traumatized but to remind me every now and then was simply going overboard. even Justin's narcissism and obsession for orange juice lost their attraction after a while.
moreover,i do not see the point in censuring words like "d--n" and "b---h" while Justin's method of killing is allowed and vividly described. 
i do feel bad because the story has potential. a major editorial rework should be strongly undertaken if this book has to take off.

*Incidents at Spitchley's Crossing is available in paperback and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) formats at http://dorrance.stores.yahoo.net/inatspcr.html
please visit http://dorrance.stores.yahoo.net/ for more information.

Dorrance Publishing
Disclosure of Material Connection: i received a complimentary copy of Incidents at Spitchley's Crossing as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team.  visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.  i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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