Patrick Kanouse is an author who knows where he wants to go with a story, and The Clearing begins in medias res with immediate, significant action, and pulls the reader along with the sometimes reluctant characters.
The protagonist, Dean Wallace, a divorced, former New York City detective, finds himself with something to do, something important enough to turn his life around if he demands enough of himself to allow the improbable to happen. And, that’s the real question. Not whether he will solve a twisted murder puzzle, but will solving the case made a difference in his own life?
The Clearing hit Amazon on September 20, 2016, through Walter Glenn Publishing. It is available on Kindle for $2.99. The print length is 276 pages, about 3470 on my Kindle Fire and it’s an easy read, whether you catch some pages before bed or pass the time in your favorite chair by the fire.
I enjoyed the fact that Police Lieutenant Dean Wallace takes charge and develops leads. He actively pursues his hunches, instead of being a caricature of a policeman who things just happen to. On the flip side, I fault the author for being a little lax with some of the forensic work. The story is set in 1979, and we’ve come a long way since then, but little details can add up to big issues. Fortunately in this story they do not.
The author also takes time to set his surroundings, giving the reader ample details about each scene. Main characters are also fleshed-out, minor characters less so. Readers are likely to find this novel readable and worth their time, and money.
Characters: 13 Honesty: 14 Originality: 14 Plot and Pacing: 13 Storytelling: 14
CHOPS Review total on a scale of 100: 68
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