Book Review: Relentless by Shawn Wilson
When homicide detective Brian “Brick” Kavanagh is assigned to the case of a young woman found floating in the Tidal Pool in Washington, D.C., the last thing he expects is a second murder to suddenly create an immediate and personal tie between himself and the victim. Hamstrung by a senior officer more interested in optics than actually solving crimes, Brick isn’t about to let this one slip through the cracks.
The premise was interesting, and with victims from Guatemala and ICE agents getting involved, timely. I liked the relationship between Brick and his homicide partner, Ron, and there was a minor romance involved too with Lily Nguyen, a defence attorney. I didn’t see the solution coming at all, and looking back, it’s because there weren’t any clues planted, something which is a bit of a problem in a murder mystery. The reader likes to either solve the mystery ahead of the protagonist, which gives us something of a smug feeling when we’re ‘smarter’ than they are, or to be surprised BUT be able to look back and spot the clues we SHOULD have put together to solve it. There were no clues, and we barely got any real insight into the killer’s psyche, also something a reader likes to get in this genre.
While grammar, language and punctuation were generally good, I did spot a few changes of tense which read awkwardly… for example “When budget time rolls around maybe this would be the year for upgrades”. ‘Rolled’ would be the correct tense in this instance. These were for the most part fairly minor and I could ignore them, but I couldn’t ignore the fact that the story just didn’t grab me and, at the end, just completely fizzled out. Relentless definitely doesn’t describe Kavanagh. He literally stumbled onto the answer, mostly because the murderer inexplicably decided to hang around with him. Comparison’s to Harry Bosch are definitely premature; maybe the author can do more with this character later in the series, but I doubt I’ll be reading any more. I couldn’t bring myself to care. Two stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.