Reaction to Murder by David Veale
The novel Reaction to Murder by David Veale is a complex thriller about the investigation of the death of chemistry professor Phil Blakeridge, and the massive fire that occurred at the local college. Immediately it is discovered that Blakeridge’s death is indeed a murder and a long list of suspects, mostly fellow college staff and various sexual partners of the victim, are slowly and painstakingly ruled out. Throughout the book, the reader gets to know and grows to like the police officers involved in solving the crime, and each one is fully developed down to their love lives, habits, and personalities. The story delves into drug use and dealing, arson, rape, multiple murders, as well as abuse. Despite the darker subject matter, there are also loving relationships and good friendships portrayed in the book, and the main characters’ senses of humor keep the book upbeat to a certain extent.
As Reaction to Murder unfolds, the reader finds themselves actively involved in trying to figure out who the murderer is, and there are just enough twists in the plot that it doesn’t become obvious until the author intends for it to be. For the most part, with the exception of a gambling habit, the investigating officers in the novel are portrayed as stand-up citizens who are willing to lay their lives and jobs on the line for each other and the greater good of the community. While the murder victim was portrayed as a highly flawed individual, the author painted him to still be likable enough that the reader wants his killer to be brought to justice. The novel is highly interesting from start to finish, and by the end of the book one hopes there will be more to come from this very talented writer.
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