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on Oct. 03, 2012 :
It's just not ready for prime time. There's a germ of a decent story here: detective is hired to find evidence of affair, but finds something much more sinister. A classic plotline, really--and nothing wrong with that. it's just that the execution is seriously problematic.
First problem: beyond her function as detective, we are given zero insight into Lucy's character. She's just a placeholder. What does *she* think about opera, for example? Detective stories are about detectives, as people, and this one doesn't make Lucy a real person.
Second problem: show, don't tell. Lucy draws conclusions from her environment; but most of these are conclusions *we* should draw from what Lucy sees. Either give us Lucy's conclusions or let us draw our own--but don't do both.
Third problem: editing and punctuation. It's just all over the place. Homophone word choices, lack of commas when needed, malapropisms such as "think the worse" of someone rather than "think the worst," etc. Try reading the story aloud to get the cadence of speech right.
Fourth problem: much, much too long in all the wrong places. The first chapter is at least twice as long--really, more than that--as it needs to be. We need to know a few pieces of information: Stella is a tough 40yo wife trying to save her marriage, her husband runs a chemical company, she thinks he's cheating because he bought flowers, Lucy takes the job. All of this could be done in two of 48 pages, but it takes six--and it still doesn't tell us anything about Lucy. Throughout the story, there's way too much text used up with social business.
To Mr. Moon's credit, once the action part of the story gets going, it's much better. It's just that the setup and the initial investigation need to be cut way down and thoroughly re-edited. And we really need a sense of who Lucy is, if we're to root for her.
(review of free book)