Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Review of The Safe Word by Karen Long (Createspace, 2014)
The Safe Word is a reasonably competent, run-of-the-mill serial killer police procedural set in Toronto. The story is engaging enough, but the premise is a little tired given the spree of such novels in recent years, and relies on a few too many plot devices to help the investigation along. The ending is somewhat telegraphed and there are some unanswered questions with respect to the case and characters. Eleanor Raven is a bit of a cold fish and there is little in the way of fleshing out her back story or development of her character. Moreover, the sense of place is a little lacking; the story could have been happening anywhere. The strength of the novel is the team around Raven, who provide an interesting ensemble cast that add life and realism to the plot through some nice interchanges. Overall, an okay debut, with a set of characters that have the potential to populate a decent series.