The Mentor, by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, is a fast-moving Crime/Detective novel originally written in Italian and translated into English. That does leave the reader struggling a bit from time to time with specific words used in the text, but those aside, the writing translates well into a good novel, providing you don’t mind the story and characters sounding like this is happening in some random US city and not London.
This work was published by Amazon/Crossing in November of 2015. The text is 226 pages and on my Kindle, there are 3015 positions.
As the story begins, Eric Shaw is a forensics detective who investigates a triple murder and finds a small child, still alive, under a bed. Why this child is never interviewed about the murders is a mystery to me. So this is Mystery, more than a Detective story.
There are plenty of twists in the plot, and in the minds of the bad guys, but the most twisted mind is the main character, Eric Shaw, since he manipulates his own forensics work to punish and convict criminals when they can’t otherwise bring them to justice. This isn’t Jack Reacher taking the law into his own hands as a private citizen, this is the head of the department presenting falsified claims. Hmmm.
Characters are sometimes presented and forgotten but for the most part, at least the “good” guys have some backstory and aren’t just cardboard cutouts. Unfortunately, I had no respect for the protagonist. That makes this review tough. However, if you are reading this to see a bunch of false reasons to read this, forget it. If you want a quick read with some gore and plot twists, the book is $5.99 at Amazon Kindle.
As for the police and forensics work, well, the author does admit:
“Although I included some real information about the organization of police forces in London, I nevertheless took full artistic license concerning professional positions of numerous employees, as well as the logistics and procedures utilized by the Forensic Science Service Laboratory and Murder Investigation Teams of London’s Metropolitan Police Service in order to better adapt them to the plot.”
I don’t think every book can be perfect, and some “poetic license” is always fine with me, but I’ve grown to expect a little more specific about actual procedures, and I love to learn something new, providing it is accurate.
Characters: 15 Honesty: 13 Originality: 14 Plot and Pacing: 16 Storytelling: 14
CHOPS Review total on a scale of 100: 72 Points
Star grading: up to 19 points = 1 star, 20-39 points = 2 stars, 40-59 points = 3 starts, 60-79 points = 4 stars, 80-100 points= 5 stars