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Haitian Graves: A Ray Robertson Mystery…

Haitian Graves: A Ray Robertson Mystery (Rapid Reads)

by Vicki Delany

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1812561,019 (3.39)10



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is one of the Rapid Reads titles put out by Orca Books. I read the first book by Vicki Delany in the Rapid Reads catalogue, Juba Good, and enjoyed it very much.

Ray Robertson is an RCMP officer who is working with the UN training police in third world countries. After the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 it wasn't only physical damage that had to be repaired and replaced. The Haiti National Police (PNH) were mentored by experienced police like Ray. On one shift Ray and his crew were called to the home of a wealthy American because his wife, Marie, had been found floating dead in the pool. From the beginning Ray thought this death was something more than a terrible accident and when the coroner's report found that Marie had been dead before she hit the water he was sure of it. He didn't believe that the gardener was responsible even though there was some circumstantial evidence. So Ray started nosing around on his own time and found the real culprit.

Delany hooks the reader in from the first paragraph:
Haiti is all about colour. Colour and contrast. Masses of red, peach and white flowers twisted around barbed wire. Brightly painted houses in the crowded slums spilling down the hillside. Cheerful ribbons wound through girls' hair as they walk through piles of garbage. The painted minibus taxis called tap-taps. Some of the tap-taps looking as though paint and rust are all that's holding them together. ( )
  gypsysmom | Nov 19, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Haitian Graves was a rapid read, more an extended short story. That said, it was a satisfying read with well developed characters. But, I read mysteries during extended plane flights. I would have enjoyed the story more if it were more drawn out. ( )
  bill | Aug 30, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this compelling mystery - and it was a fast read! Ray Robertson is working in Haiti as a representative of the UN / RCMP, helping restore order to Port-au-Prince, and to train local police officers. When a dead body is discovered at the home of an American ex-pat, Robertson is relentless in his pursuit of the truth, despite several false starts and red herrings. Although the novel is slim, Robertson is a well-drawn character; we learn much about his motivation and family situation, and what drives him to work in war zones.
This is the second in the Robertson series (the first is set in Sudan), and is part of Orca’s series of Rapid Read novellas. Strong on plot and readability, this novel will appeal to adult readers who enjoy shorter books. ( )
  chazzard | Aug 15, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Haitian Graves is a short, very concise mystery featuring Ray Robinson, a Canadian Mountie serving as a UN advisor in Haiti. At just under pp., the book has little room for extraneous descriptions or red herrings which contributes to its rapid flow.

The story is more cozy than hard-boiled. While entertaining, it is not exactly exceptional.

*This review book was based on an advanced reading copy obtained at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. While this does take any ‘not worth what I paid for it’ statements out of my review, it otherwise has no impact on the content of my review.

FYI: On a 5-point scale I assign stars based on my assessment of what the book needs in the way of improvements:
• 5 Stars – Nothing at all. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
• 4 Stars – It could stand for a few tweaks here and there but it’s pretty good as it is.
• 3 Stars – A solid C grade. Some serious rewriting would be needed in order for this book to be considered good or memorable.
• 2 Stars – This book needs a lot of work. A good start would be to change the plot, the character development, the writing style and the ending.
• 1 Star - The only thing that would improve this book is a good bonfire. ( )
  Unkletom | Jul 11, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Synopsis: Ray Robertson is a Canadian Mountie stationed in Haiti as an instructor and mentor to their police department. While on patrol with Agent Pierre Lamothe and several of his patrolmen, they get a call regarding a dead woman. The house is elegant, the husband is American, but the wife and her two young children are Haitian. Although there is a quick arrest of the gardener in this apparent murder, Robertson wonders why American Embassy officials are involved and why the evidence seems too pat.
Review: This is a beautifully written and literate novella, presenting a mixture of police procedural and detective story. However, the plot is thin. Even though this is a 'Rapid Reads' book, I expected a bit more depth pulling in the title of the book and giving some color to Pierre and to the city. I had little trouble deciding 'who done it'; knowing why took only slightly longer. Overall, I enjoyed the quality of writing but expected more from the storyline. ( )
  DrLed | Jun 21, 2015 |
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