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The Eternal Summer (Chuck Restic Private…
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The Eternal Summer (Chuck Restic Private Investigator Series Book 2)

by Paul MacDonald

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3.5/5 stars
This story follows Chuck, a corporate worker who does some PI work on the side, as he tries to track down a missing girl for a 'friend'. Now I must say, I haven't read the first book in the series, but that doesn't seem to have detracted from the reading. The main character and the setting are set up with a lot of detail so it's fairly easy to follow along without the earlier background.

While the mystery was very compelling (I even gasped at the final reveal!) and moved along at a nice pace, I was disappointed with the character descriptions, the main problem being that many of the characters felt flat. Those that were most central to the plot really weren't fleshed out until 2/3rds of the way through the book. Though they were minor characters, I didn't realize Paul and Pat were two different people until page 105! They were described so similarly and with such similar names, there was not enough development to distinguish the two easily.

The other problem was the author's need to identify every non-white character by their race. As well, the characters that were overweight in the protagonist's eyes were constantly labelled as such EVERY TIME they recurred in the story. Why?? It just felt uncomfortable and disrespectful each time I came across one of these descriptions.

That being said, I did appreciate the author's move away from the typical 'womanizer' detective trope. While there was some dialogue that may have been leading in this direction, there were no unnecessary romantic subplots involving the main character, aside from a very healthy relationship with his ex-wife. Very well done!

All in all, an enjoyable mystery with a quick pace and many twists and turns. I just hope the author recognizes these problematic aspects with his characters in order to correct them in his future writing. ( )
  Lib-books | Apr 21, 2016 |
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