Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Whiskey Sour: J. A. Konrath

From the description at Goodreads:
Lieutenant Jacqueline 'Jack' Daniels is having a bad week. Her live-in boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, chronic insomnia has caused her to max out her credit cards with late-night home shopping purchases, and a frightening killer who calls himself 'The Gingerbread Man' is dumping mutilated bodies in her district...Whiskey Sour is full of laugh-out-loud humor and edge-of-your-seat suspense, and it introduces a fun, fully drawn heroine in the grand tradition of Kinsey Millhone, Stephanie Plum, and Kay Scarpetta.
Whiskey Sour is the first novel of a mystery series written by J. A. Konrath. Jack is a detective in the Chicago Police Department. Her partner is Herb, a family man. He is supportive and a calming influence on Jack. I haven't read a Kinsey Milhone mystery in a long time, but I don't see much similarity there. Stephanie Plum, yes. 

What did I think about the book?

It was a quick read and enjoyable. The story is told in first person, with Jack as the narrator. There are chapters giving the killer's point of view. Those chapters were creepy and graphic, but I do find I enjoy novels that give us more than one point of view.

On the down side, I did not like the portrayal of a couple of FBI agents, who are brought in to help with the investigation. It was over-the-top and unrealistic. I have no knowledge one way or the other about the actual value of the FBI in investigations, but I don't believe that they can be that clueless. I am sure it was intended as part of the humor, but I found it distracting and very off-putting. That should have been skipped entirely in my opinion.

I liked the dynamic between the two partners, they reminded me of Jane Rizzoli and her partner in the Rizzoli & Isles TV show (not in the books).

If I read more books in a year, I would probably continue this series. As a slow reader, I have to pick and choose and I don't think I will find time to continue it.

Would I recommend this book? 

I hope my pros and cons have illustrated what I liked and disliked about the book. Whether someone else would enjoy this book and the rest of the series would be determined by what kind (and variety) of mysteries they like. My impression from reading reviews of the next few books in the series are that they continue along the same vein.

This reviewer at The Mystery Reader also points out a similarity to the Janet Evanovich series starring Stephanie Plum. Readers who enjoy that series may also like this one. 

I read this book as part of the Group Read Discussion for June/July in the Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group at Goodreads. (It continues through July 14, 2012.) My husband and I both read it and he rated the experience higher than I did. My copy of Whiskey Sour had been on my To Be Read shelf for a long, long time (since December 2005), and it seemed like the time to read it or pass it on. At Goodreads, the book currently is rated 3.8 stars, and has nearly 600 5-star ratings. 

So my recommendation would be neutral. This book was not a waste of time by any means, but it was not my cup of tea.

This counts as one of my books for the following challenges:
Mt. TBR Challenge
Read Your Own Books Challenge
New Authors Challenge
1st in a Series Challenge
Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 

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