Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Protocol: A Maggie O'Malley Mystery

Greetings!  Mining for Justice by Kathleen Ernst is the eighth A Chloe Ellefson Mystery and it will be published on October 8.  You Were There Before My Eyes by Maria Riva (daughter of Marlene Dietrich) will be released on October 10.

Protocol by Kathleen Valenti is the first book in A Maggie O’Malley Mystery series.  Maggie O’Malley has just started her new job as a clinical research associate at Rxcellance.  Maggie is enjoying drinks with co-workers after her first day at work when she reminder for a meeting on her phone.  However, Maggie did not schedule the meeting nor does she recognize the woman.  As she is leaving the bar, Maggie glances at the television and sees a report about a hit and run accident involving the same woman.  Maggie checks it off to a coincidence until it happens again.  Maggie contacts Gus who purchased the phone for her.  They start looking into the victims and find a connection back to Rxcellance.  Maggie and Gus dig into the case and they soon catch the attention of the killer.  Can Maggie find the necessary proof to put the culprit away before she becomes the next victim?

When I read the blurb for Protocol, I was intrigued.  It sounds like a great medical suspense/mystery novel.  However, the final product was disappointing (for me).  The story lacks suspense or scare factor.  I wanted to be drawn into the story and riveted until the very last page.  Instead, I found myself bored and skimming to get to the end (to see if I correctly identified the perpetrators).   I think, though, that some readers will be surprised when some of twists are revealed.  For the most part, the book is easy to read and has a good pace.  There are technical sections relating to medical research (medical conditions, chemistry, drug interactions) that slow down the pace (some of it is a little too technical for laypeople).  The writing is unpolished.  I wish the editor had given the book another going over and tightened it up.  The book is too long and the author left some dangling threads at the end.  My rating for Protocol is 2 out of 5 stars (I was not a fan).  The big problem was the main character—Maggie O’Malley.  She bumbles, stumbles, overreacts, loses items, breaks things and blushes her way through the book.  I am surprised that she has not started an epidemic (by dropping something deadly in the lab).  Maggie “trusts” a man that she has only been out with twice more than Gus she has known since childhood.  She barely knows him, but Maggie is willing to risk her life for him.  Most of the characters were not fully developed and the plot seems implausible (which I can overlook if the rest of the book was captivating—which it was not).  I do want to warn readers that Protocol contains foul language and gory crime scenes (great crime scene descriptions).

I hope you have found my review helpful.  I will be sharing my thoughts on A Hive of Homicides by Meera Lester on Thursday.  May each of you have a wonderful Wednesday.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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