Saturday, August 27

The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir

Private investigators don’t have an easy life, especially when they started out as cops.  After sustaining an injury that prevented him from performing police work, Ray Quinn still has an itch for tracking down bad guys.  Ray’s in a bit of a slump.  His clients aren’t bringing him in for the big cases and he certainly doesn’t enjoy trailing cheating husbands – especially when one client spills the beans to her husband and the husband corners Ray in the bathroom.  Nope, life isn’t easy.

Not long afterwards though, he is approached by Armon Mayor, a wealthy business man.  One of Mayor’s former employees (an ex-cop who Ray knew on the force) has stolen a hard drive with sensitive customer data on it.  Mayor wants the hard drive retrieved and doesn’t want anything leaking to the press.  There’s also a little something about a hefty paycheck.

Unfortunately, the ex-cop is found dead with no trace of the hard drive.  Now Ray, joined by wanna-be cop Crevice are pulled deeper into a growing mystery.  Not everything is as it seems.

I love a good mystery/thriller.  When a story keeps me flipping through the pages, wanting to find out what happens next, it has done its job.  In the best of the best, the endings are usually surprising yet incredibly believable.  Being able to guess the ending early on can be a downer, and generally the only times that I can still be satisfied is when I don’t know how that ending will be reached.  Then I at least enjoy the thrill of discovering how it is revealed.

The Corruptible was not one of those books.  For over half the book I had a very good idea of the ending.  There were a few threads that surprised me, but they were minor in comparison to the ones I figured out.  At times it seemed like Mynheir dropped a few too many hints.

There was also an utterly ridiculous subplot stretched throughout.  Ray receives an email from a scam artist who is trying to prey on elderly religious folk.  Ray impersonates an elderly Christian lady and decides to have a bit of fun with the same artist.  Every time this plot thread appeared, it broke the pace of story.  It also had absolutely nothing to do with the main investigation.  Removing it would’ve made the story leaner and faster paced, but the addition of it left parts of the story fractured and disjointed.

I discovered early on that The Corruptible is a sequel to The Night Watcher, which I have never read.  Here, Mynheir does well.  Despite having never read The Night Watcher, I was still able to understand both the story and the character.  Dialogue gave me enough to piece together the important elements from the first novel.

Still, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t issue with the characters.  Ray’s partner (read: apprentice) aspires to get on the police force.  He’s young and headstrong.  Oh, and he has a small vocabulary.  I can tell because every time Ray uses a word longer than six letters he has to stop and explain the definition of the word, as if the audience isn’t smart enough to know it or close enough to a dictionary to find out *sigh*.  Crevice is also used to dump bunches of exposition of the audience *groan*.  Ray is characterized primarily by his constant drinking (if you’re a Christian author trying to make your lead ‘flawed’ please choose something more original than drinking.  Please!).

By now you can probably tell what my rating of this book will me, and I feel bad about having to rate it so low.  Despite having an engaging title and premise, The Corruptible fell, and fell hard.  I don’t know how it compares to the first one, but now I have no desire to give it a try, despite it being a Christy Award-nominated story.  I’d recommend skipping this one.

1/5 stars

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