Murder Can Be Fatal, Kevin Scott Allen

Seven star

First and foremost, a large thank you to Kevin Scott Allen for providing me with a copy of this novel, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Always eager to get my hands on new authors or independent publications, I gladly accepted an ARC for this novel from Kevin Scott Allen. Laid out as a mystery, the story revolves around Igg Downs, a private investigator who has seen better days and finds himself in the middle of a dry spell. When approached to help a friend investigate a murder, our protagonist finds himself neck-deep in evidence but without a clear killer. All the while, a detective with the LAPD is trying to stir up trouble in the form of retribution. A decent read for those who like PI mysteries.

Igg Downs has had better days. Working as a private investigator, Downs is used to dead ends when trying to locate people or chase something down. However, he’s hit a dry spell with no clear end in sight. That could be why he reluctantly agreed to help with this new case, where a woman’s been murdered.

Wanda’s dead body is making Downs quite nervous, this being his first stiff. However, the potential for some income pushes him through as he tries to piece together what happened to her. Seeking to stay one step ahead of the LADP Homicide Detective is key, for more than one reason. It appears that Downs may have ruffled some feathers when he bedded the detective’s wife not long after she left her husband. This will surely add some complexities to the investigation.

While Downs follows the leads he uncovers, he comes upon more bodies, killed in brutal fashions. Could all the killings be connected, a means of shutting people up while the killer makes a break for it? While being bullied for his past behaviour and worrying that this paycheque might slip through his fingers, Igg Downs will have to act swiftly and identify the killer. Kevin Scott Allen does well with this, keeping the reader wondering with each page flip.

Kevin Scott Allen does well with what appears to be one of his first published novels. Pulling on a number of the needed ingredients for a successful publication, Allen keeps the reader enthused from the opening pages, Adding some great narrative twists to allow the reader to better understand Igg Downs, the reading experience is heightened. While I did find it difficult to connect with the flow at times, I can see how many readers will latch on this PI mystery and feel completedly at ease.

Allen keeps the narrative at the forefront of the story, permitting the reader to see things from a variety of angles at any one time. The story flows fairly well, introducing the reader to the protagonist in the opening sentences and not letting go until the final statement ends. The characters found herein prove not only to be realistic, but also well placed to better understand all aspects of the story. Allen uses some great plot twists to keep the story fresh and hooks the reader who is not entirely sure where things are headed. While I cannot put my finger on it, I found myself not as enthralled as I would have liked. The story seemed solid and the characters proved entertaining. It could be that I was caught during one of my more fickle reading and reviewing moments, but I do not feel this should reflect on Kevin Scott Allen’s abilities.

Kudos, Mr. Allen, on an appealing potential series debut. I am eager to see where you take things and how readers can enjoy more of your work.