Thursday, 13 October 2011

Review: Bad Moon by Todd Ritter (Kat Campbell #2)

Publisher - Minotaur Books
Publication Date - October 2011
Hardback - 368 pages
Genre - Mystery

Source - Received from Kaye Publicity for review

Rating - 2 out of 5: It was ok

Book Info - On the same night that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, nine-year-old Charlie Olmstead jumped on his bike to see if he could get a better look. It was the last anyone ever saw of him. After Perry Hollow Police Chief Jim Campbell found Charlie's bike caught up above a waterfall, he assumed the worse, and so did everyone else except Charlie's mother.

Years later, Eric Olmstead - and famous author and Charlie's brother - has come back to bury his mother and fulfill her last request: Find his brother. To do so he goes to the current police chief and his former sweetheart Kat Campbell, and it isn't long before they discover that finding Charlie was his mother's secret obsession, and while she never found him she uncovered clues suggesting that he wasn't the only victim.

"Bad Moon", Todd Ritter's excellent follow-up to his acclaimed debut, tells the haunting story of a small town that found lies easier to believe than the truth.

Review - I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Death Notice, so when I was offered a review copy of Bad Moon I jumped at the chance. However, I was slightly disappointed by my second trip into the world of police chief Kat Campbell.

In Bad Moon the author is able to give an amazing insight into how a small town community works and, once again, the characters are all well written. In Perry Hollow, everybody knows everybody else and I loved reading about this connection between all of the characters. Having grown up in a big town where I don't even know my neighbour's name it was refreshing to read about what it is like to live in a completely different type of community.

My main problem with Bad Moon was the pacing. Most of the novel moves along at a very slow pace that just did not make me feel compelled to carry on reading. In fact, at times it felt like quite hard work to carry on making my way through the pages. They are trying to solve a mystery that happened 40 years ago so I didn't feel the drive that was present in the previous book, where Kat and Nick had to find the murderer before he took another victim. It is mentioned a few times that they must try and solve the mystery before the Russians land on the moon otherwise another boy may be taken, but this still didn't bring any sense of urgency to the story.

However, the author really picks up the pace in the last one hundred pages and it became much more like the first book in the series. There are some great twists in the storyline that I didn't see coming and I couldn't put the book down until I had finished reading. I just wish that the whole of the novel could have been written in this same style.

Summary - A mystery that has some very promising elements, but that is let down by the slow pacing. If you have never read anything by this author before then I would recommend that you start with Death Notice, which I enjoyed a lot more than Bad Moon.

Other books in the series:
1. Death Notice
2. Bad Moon

Other reviews of this book: Whilst browsing the internet for other reviews it became immediately apparent that I am the only one who feels this way so please be sure to check out these other, more positive, reviews :)
Genre Go Round Reviews / Jenn's Bookshelves / Lesa's Book Critiques
(If you would like your review of Bad Moon included here, please leave a link in the comments and I will be sure to add it.)


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