Scene of the Crime by M.J. Williamz
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I came so close to not finishing this book. The only reason I did was so that I could have a completely informed opinion.
The biggest issue I had with this book was the pacing. I felt rushed through scenes so quickly I couldn’t keep track. The story was weak and shallow. The characters were poorly written and barely had any real personality I could follow. I genuinely could not define any of the characters.
I don’t claim to be an expert on crime dramas, far from it in fact. This book, however, felt so poorly researched it was just awkward. It took me completely out of the moment at every turn. All I could think about was how unrealistic it felt through the whole thing. The conclusion felt rushed and weak.
Full Review with Spoilers
I really struggled. At several spots in this book I wondered if it was worth my time to keep going. It wasn’t, but I felt I needed to finish if I wanted to write about it honestly.
There is so much wrong with this book. The pacing is the absolute worst part though. Several scenes in this book rush from one moment to the next and kept me from really enjoying anything. To be honest, other than the two main character’s homes, I can tell you nothing about any other places that were mentioned. The story progression was poorly plotted as well. One moment Cullen is the fierce girlfriend ready to stand by her woman even knowing she had done wrong, then the next she’s spiteful and angry and wants to forget she ever existed. This is obviously how one would feel when they find out the person they loved was a drug dealing murderer, but it was such a instant flip that it didn’t feel genuine. She spends so little time processing her feelings for Sarah. Cullen believes so strongly in her relationship to Sarah through the first half that it really needed a falling out of love transition to make it believable.
Cullen meets the other main character Julia when she shows up at girlfriend Sarah’s door investigating a murder. Turns out Julia and Cullen knew each other back in high school. Instant sparks, but Cullen is standing by her woman. This is the other major pacing issue. This very quickly becomes, “I love you, I’ve always loved you. You’re sexy and I want to bone” between Cullen and Julia. This is also so sudden that I feel nothing for this relationship and the “tension” between the two. There really wasn’t any beyond the forced celibacy that Julia insists on while Cullen is dealing with her feelings about Sarah, which is still a lot of wishing Sarah would disappear forever.
Now, the other glaring issue. Nothing felt researched. I am not a cop or a detective or a drug dealer, but I was not buying anything in this book. It felt like little to no research really went into the detective elements before writing. I felt like Julia often didn’t take her role seriously as a cop either. It sort of felt like that fact was more of an after thought to the story.
And the beer. My goodness these two were drinking ALL THE TIME. Several beers at a time every day and glasses of wine when beer lacked sophistication. It was such a small thing, but it bothered me to read it over and over and over again. It seemed like a detail that just kept getting reused without any thought put into it. Other than the blatant alcoholism, it was extremely repetitive and boring.
The story as a while was uncomfortable as well. Sarah runs off when she is being investigated for the two murders that take place during the book and Julia and Cullen get together almost instantly. I was having trouble seeing it as romantic. Julia was the detective in charge of putting Sarah away for life. The conflict of interest idea was not cute nor romantic and I didn’t really care about the two of them when Sarah was caught and sentenced, leaving the other two to live happily ever after. I actually didn’t even want them to be together in the end.
Weak story, flat characters, and uninteresting writing. This book was a major miss and I wouldn’t feel good recommending it.