Touch Sensitive by Lee Isserow

Touch Sensitive
By Lee Isserow

I wish I could write like Lee Isserow. This paranormal detective story draws its strength from Isserow’s ability to get into the character’s head. The interiority and PoV of the story are so deep and well done that it should be studied by writers everywhere.

I remember Brandon Sanderson recommending ‘I’m Not a Serial Killer’ as way to study deep PoV, but after reading this, it is the book I would recommend. The PoV is deeper the interiority is better.

The one issues I had with the book was the excessive profanity and negativity of the main character. As much as I enjoyed the story. I had to take a break from it a few times because of this.

The story follows a detective with a unique gift; seeing the memories of the things and people he touches, but it feels more like a curse to him. When he’s brought in on case where the murder has been performed by someone with a gift like his, and the ability to hide things from him his world changes.

Twins Prey by W. C. Hoffman

5 Stars: I give this story 5 stars for the quality of the storytelling. The characters all deal with their own demons, and regardless of the protagonist, there doesn’t seem to be a ‘good guy’ to cheer for. This may be a deal breaker for many readers, but again Hoffman is a good storyteller, and the way he tells a story is worthy of the 5-star mark.

His story invokes a biblical theme of the ‘sins of the father.' Two boys are rescued from an accident to be raised by a man who has disconnected himself from society and taught the two boys to live an animalistic tribal life. When a hunter wanders into their territory, they kill him. It’s not malicious, or cruel, it’s what they were taught, and so the reader must question the nature of the crime, to lay it at the feet of the killers or does it belong to Uncle who taught them to live that way?

The narrator also plays an active role in the storytelling, clearing up the inaccuracies of the characters to ensure the reader doesn’t get lost in the misinformation.

Book Review: the Prophecy [Fulfillment Series 1]

Overall

The character motives and complexity are something that George R. R. Martin would dream up. No single character tags along with the plans of another unless there is a clear connection to their own goals.

The moment when you don’t know what is going to happen in a story is always one of my favorite and Erin Rhew delivers such, several times over.

Craft Study

Erin creates a mood in a scene like few authors can, taking an image or feeling and weaving it through the setting, and language of the PoV character. It’s in the way they move, think, and talk. Rare and wonderful.

 

What to watch for

There is a debate in writing not about show vs. tell specifically, but how to handle it when dealing with the PoV character. Most adults know their own emotions, I know when I’m angry, or tired, or sad … so why don’t characters? This is the debate. Some authors and readers believe you should continue to only show even when dealing with the PoV characters. Others believe and find it annoying when the PoV characters emotions aren’t stated clearly.

Erin Rhew falls clearly in the second camp. Her characters know their own emotions and label them.

Book Review: Recall by David McCaleb

Best Part:

The best part of the book is the sense of mystery that the author develops throughout the book. By a careful and meticulous weighing of the point of view, McCaleb weaves together the evidence in a way that keeps you wanting more, but still unsure about your own answers.

Worth Study:

One of the best crime scenes I've read takes places early the book after Red's home is attacked. It stirred my curiosity enough to drive me through to the end of the book. McCaleb does many things well, but this chapter is his strongest by far.

Weakness:

Opening page. I'll clarify that I read this on my kindle so the first page is much shorter than if you pick it up in paperback, but it begins with a family leaving a grocery store. Nothing interesting or special, and I almost walked away from the book there. I'm glad I didn't. McCaleb is a stronger writer with an interesting story who's done his research, but when you pick the book up, wait until the fight starts. The book never slows down after that.