One Deadly Sister

This is a terrible book.

Let's start with the characters. They all sound exactly the same, all the time. Not only can you not tell who's speaking by how they speak, you can't even tell how they're feeling. Take any bit of dialogue from anywhere in the book and try to guess who said it and you'd pretty much be guessing blind.

And as the robot devil said, you can't just have your characters say how they feel, bet that's exactly what Hoisington does. He has absolutely no idea how to convey emotion or tone through dialogue, so he just flat out tells you how you're supposed to interpret it. This extends to the way characters are perceived; he couldn't make the protagonist (Sandy) actually charismatic, so he just repeatedly told us she was.

It's not just a problem with the dialogue either, none of the characters are remotely believable. The good guys are just amazingly upbeat, determined and forceful, while the villains are cartoonishly evil. The primary antagonist, a prosecutor who's trying to get ahead by convicting a high-profile criminal, just goes out of his way to be a dick. He actually flat-out states that he wants to convict the guy (Ray) whether he's guilty or not, even though he has absolutely no reason to be so hell-bent on going after that particular guy.

The other problem there is Hoisington's absolutely abysmal lack of legal knowledge. If he'd watched a few episodes of Law & Order he'd have been able to avoid the obvious mistakes he made all through this book. Every couple of chapters I'd find some new reason to think "No, couldn't happen. This would be thrown out of court." but actually it would never even have gotten that far as the whole premise falls apart right from the moment Ray is arrested.

Ray is arrested on the basis of a tip-off by the victim's former-assistant. Ray has no known link to the victim other than that the assistant has said she thinks he might have done it, because he was at the victim's house earlier in the day. Despite there being several other potential suspects, all with far closer connections to the victim and actual motives for the crime, Ray is immediately arrested. Then forensics show that there was at least one other person in the victim's house after him, and a witness puts a third person there still later. The evidence that he didn't do it continues to pile up for chapter after chapter, and all the while the police chief and prosecutor continue to investigate only Ray.

Then there are the other sub-plots, like the romance between Sandy and the only detective working on this high-profile murder, the uniformed officer who tries to rape her (a sequence that seems to be there just to try to show how tough she is but actually just shows yet again how dumb and unrealistic everyone in this book is) and gets away with it because the evil prosecutor somehow protects him for some reason, the former-mechanic lesbian journalist whose secret past serves to add a couple of completely pointless chapters of speculation that goes nowhere, the Cuban gangsters who also add a couple of chapters of meaningless bullshit and give Sandy yet another opportunity to prove she's tough. For such a short book it certainly packs a lot of action in. It's just a pity that none of it is in the least bit gripping or even interesting.

If this book has even one thing going for it, and that's a big "if", it's that at least it's short. Still, if you do want to read it it's currently free for Kindle.

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