Book Review: Occam's Razor by Joe Clifford
Occam’s Razor is a scientific and philosophical rule that basically boils down to not making things more complicated than they need to be. The simplest explanation is often the correct one, in other words.
And I have no idea why that is the title of this book, because there is nothing simple or obvious about the situation security consultant Oz Reyes finds himself investigating when his boss calls him from LA to Miami. He owes Delma, who took a chance on giving him a job when Oz blew his knee out before his NFL career even got started, but what she’s asking him for makes no sense… to prove her adopted son didn’t commit the terrible crime of killing her granddaughter.
Delma is unwell, suffering from severe mental agitation and deteriorating fast. Oz takes the case to humour her, thinking there can’t be anything in it, but when within days he’s set up to lose his job and his apartment is broken into by someone who can only be looking for the file Delma gave him, he realises maybe there’s something in Delma’s ramblings.
There’s a lot of violence in the book and some triggers need to be warned for, including mental illness, CSA, incest, violent death (including of a child), substance abuse and more. None of it is gratuitous though and Oz is a sympathetic protagonist with a strong moral code, revolted by what he finds out and refusing to be bought by the big money he’s offered to sit down and be quiet. He’s coming in to a cold case but he’s not entirely without prejudices, since he knew all the main players previously, before murder blew the family apart.
I really enjoyed this read. I liked Oz and the characters he pulled in around him, especially his ex Tania and her brother Angel, his Miami contacts who stood by him when the world was caving in. I really liked the way he was like a dog with a bone once he’d got wind that there was a cover up going on, and the story throws in a huge number of twists and turns, including one at the very end I absolutely didn’t see coming. Not everything is tied off all that neatly, but then, real life usually isn’t… especially not when the rich and powerful get involved and decide there are certain secrets that need to stay buried. The ending was satisfying enough, for Oz and for me, but I gotta say, I’d love to see Oz appear in more stories.
Five stars for an excellent read with some twists I didn’t see coming.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.