Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Book review from Oh My Bookness of things in ditches A murder mystery novel By Jimmy Olsen

 things in ditches
A murder mystery novel
By Jimmy Olsen 

  • Publication date: October 2, 2010
  • Publisher: Hoffman House Press
  • Pages: 312
  • ASIN: B0045OUHSM

Book Description:

"Vicky Johnson's killer rolled onto his right side, drew his knees up under the warm covers and cautiously peeked through the darkness at the crisp digits of the clock-radio counting his last moments on earth, death waiting patiently for him to shower and dress. The secret he thought, is not to open your eyes and let the world in.

"So begins the story of Dutch Cleland, a man with a hidden past and a future about to explode in his face. A seemingly average man whose love for two women drives him to such extremes that deception, even murder and suicide are no longer unthinkable."

Book Review:
 Things in ditches  
Author: Jimmy Olsen 
Review By: Brittany Perez 
(Oh My Bookness)
November 8, 2016

There is nothing better than a good murder mystery, right? The kind that leaves you on the edge of your seat, book in toe wherever you go. You never know where or how you might discover the next ok, good, interesting, page turner. Where or how you find your next prompt to mystery, I do apologize I mean murder mystery novel is not my concern, sharing with you my thoughts is. I’m not here to sway or dis-sway. Now I can only presume what may or may not be on your mind is…why? Well if your anything like me relying on a description, catchy title or book cover design doesn’t always cut it. Now that’s not saying I will be  sharing all the juicy bits, just saying a basic overview with minimal “spoilers.”

So here’s to my “overview” and a critique, review, whatever you like to call it. If it helps lead you onto your next adventure let me say “adios y feliz lectura/bye and happy reading.” To my fellow readers who don’t find the fit just right, thus I say to you, ” adios y buena suerte en tu próxima aventura/bye and good luck on your next adventure.”

Onwards and forward:

I first want to start off with a snippet from chapter...hmm.. ah doesn’t matter. This is just a sneak peak or “SPOILER” from Things in ditches – a murder mystery novel by Jimmy Olsen. Here we go, I guess this where I say SPOILER!

“[Dutch]…’Trouble with infidelity…’ ‘…is you fool yourself into believing it’s harmless. Can love be wrong?...’ ‘You go slightly mad in the end, of course kill your girlfriend and try and blow your own head off.’  He grinned. ‘All for harmless, little old love.’ He caught the dog by the collar and drew him in close until they were nose to nose. ‘It’s not only me, you know.’

….The mask of his life removed and him there naked and small as only God knew him. That would be the killer. Could he indeed deal with that?

Willow River was the one place on earth were he fit perfectly. They knew him, and while not everyone loved him, he had here as much love, respect, and place as he would ever get in his life. Some people feel at home wherever they are, but not him. This was the only home he’d ever known. He’d the same sentiment from a New Yorker once who claimed not to be his real self outside the city.

Hard then to tell the truth, when his unmasking might both convict and vindicate him. People had come to expect the truth from him after all. No one knew him as a liar.
So what should he do, walk into Charlie Benson’s office and confess?’

[Charlie] SAFE IN HIS GARAGE, LEN DAVIS listened to his car radio in stunned silence as reporter Cheri Py summarized Day Two: The Willow River Murders, Dutch Cleland, who still eluded police. Those in isolated rural areas cautioned to lock their doors, stay alert. Behind the wheel of his Midnight Blue 1964 Corvette, Len felt bit criminal himself. (Things in ditches).” (Things in Ditches).

For me sharing a snippet from things in ditches by Jimmy Olsen a 310 page novel is for one a better and more accurate description if you grab the “write”  (pun intended), snippets. You get a feel for the writing style as well as a better idea of what the book is about. Spoiler or not a Spoiler, you decide that for yourself.

Jimmy Olsen brings his own flare to things in ditches with a bit of Janet Evanovich, John Grisham, and James Patterson. Olsen combined his own unique writing style that blends into a mysterious, devious, murderous, and a little bit of humor. Not a easy feet what so ever. There are numerous characters we are introduced to that helps the story to move forward.

As you read along , and learn more about the events that are unfolding and the mysterious reasons why, there are several transitions from one character to the next. Unfortunately as the transition sets the next pace for the story, it’s not always clear which character that is being talked about, or time, place, tone. To make for a smoother transition. A scene transition needs to identify Place, time, viewpoint in character especially if there had been a change. Now I’m not saying the author does not use scene transitions but they are not always clear. A scene transition does not always need to be detailed, if you give a hint in the previous chapter of what’s to come. If the teaser or hint for a another chapter than the next scene transition should be clear and descriptive. Give the reader a good idea of what is to come and where and what place and time it is taking place in. This will make for a smoother transition. That is where the author makes a small error, when making his scene transitions there not always abundantly clear of place, time, and focal, if it’s past or present. You only get the idea once you have read a page or two into the chapter. There are points where it’s effectively used.
One other thing I saw were very small grammatical errors. In one spot, it’s actually a more common mistake than not. Actually a lot of English writers confuse these words, although each has a different meaning. For example there is a point where the author uses ‘were’ in the place of ‘where.’

***Note: the use of were in place of where in a sentence-
Line: “Willow River was the one place on earth were he fit perfectly.”

This is a common mistake, many writers make all to often.

All together though, Olson’s writing style does captivate the reader. You will laugh, you will be that obnoxious person that you see in theaters yelling don’t go in there but at a book instead. It will otherwise leave you hanging just so you don’t put the book down. It will give you pause, and a few of those “wtf” moments because you either don’t agree with a characters choice or because the character you love to hate did something you did not expect. It’s characters are witty, serious, killer, psychotic, and mysterious. Even with the most famous writers you will find mistakes, errors, but what also makes a good story is the plot, the storyline, and it’s characters. This book, even with a few rough transitions, still was a good book. With what I named previously about a good book, is what made me want to read on. Want to know more. Had me wanting find out who, what, where, and why.
Things in ditches by Jimmy Olsen is a good book. It’s a murder mystery that will have you guessing till the end because just right when  you think though know, there is a new plot twist thrown in.

About The Author:

Jimmy Olsen is a native of Hoffman, Minnesota, and has degrees from St. Cloud State University and the University of Alabama. He's worked as a newspaper reporter, editor, and photographer. For nearly forty years, he has been an active scuba diver and instructor, living five years in the Dominican Republic.

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