Monday, February 11, 2013

Book review: Nightwatcher by Wendy Corsi Staub

I have been reviewing book for Once Upon A Romance for quite some time and the books have been really good, making the review process enjoyable. Nightwatcher was probably the first book that to me missed the mark a little bit. 

On a brighter note. I recently reviewed a book by an author from North Carolina and reading that book could not help but somehow feel at home since the language style was so reminiscent of how people here tell stories. I tried to express that in the review and got a nice surprise this past weekend, when the author took the time to thank me personally for the review of his book. Reactions such as this by the author are what makes reviewing books fun. That and of course finding new authors that write great books!

On to the actual review of Nightwatcher by Wendy Corsi Staub: 

This book by W.C. Staub is on its face a thriller, but reading the book, it seemed to me more than a work of fiction and ended up being a book about how great New York City and its people are (murders and all). W. C. Staub dedicates the book to the city and its people in the aftermath of 9/11 and that tragic event features prominently in the book as well.
The events covered in the book start shortly before 9/11 with an innocent encounter between the protagonist and one of the victims from the World Trade Center. The following chapters interweave the impressions and experiences of Allison Straub in the aftermath of the terror attack. While the main story line of the book is the brutal mutilation and killing of several women, the backdrop of 9/11 is featured more prominently in this book than I expected and actually detracts somewhat from the storyline of Allison coming too close for comfort to the murders.
A young woman in Allison’s house is murdered and we get introduced to the various residents of the house and their issues. Could one of them be the culprit? Allison is the unfortunate person to find the first victim and as the story progresses she inches closer and closer to the person responsible for the attacks. While the story in itself is interesting and the characters are well developed, the author does spend significant time going back to describing New York in the aftermath of the attack. This helps the reader remember those awful days and paints a vivid image of how the residents of New York must have felt, but it also forces the reader to go through pages of text that add little to the storyline of identifying the murderer.
Overall, the author is certainly talented and can tell a story. I believe that the attempt to write a thriller and turn it into a story dedicated to New York and the victims of 9/11 is not a natural pairing and made the storytelling extremely difficult. The author did a good job, given the difficult task, but the book is certainly not your traditional thriller.

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