Monday, October 3, 2011

… And Night Falls / Tommie Lyn

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Thriller

Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Tommie Lyn lives with her husband in the Florida panhandle, the setting for three of her seven novels, including this one. Her books span multiple genres, including supernatural, historical, and thriller/mystery/suspense. For more, including several short stories, visit Lyn’s website.


When spoiled rich girl Shelley Goodnight stumbles upon a corpse while camping with friends, it is only the start of her involvement in a nightmare involving a hit man and political corruption.


I found much to like about … And Night Falls, and a few things that didn’t quite work out for me. The prologue set the stage well and drew me into the story. However, when I started chapter one, where we first meet the protagonist, twenty-something Shelly Goodnight, something felt off, although I wasn’t sure what. In this section, Shelly, who has lived with her parents in the nine months since her divorce, is telling her Mother that she wants to “stand on her own two feet” and her first step is going to be moving into her own apartment. It isn’t that her claim lacks in sincerity. That is true, but intended. I don’t think it was anything in the author’s writing style. Whatever it was, I quickly got past it and was drawn back into the story.

However, I did find later instances where Shelly’s actions didn’t ring true. The most egregious was a situation where she pulled out a pen and paper and began writing down notes about the situation she’d found herself in. That part was mostly credible, but then it evolved into an exercise in free association that seemed unrealistic, not just for this character, but also for most people. It was also a crucial point in the story, where Shelly makes some mental connections and realizes a few things that enable her (and the story) to flow to the logical conclusion.

The ending was mostly satisfying. Each of the different story threads were tied off in an acceptable fashion, with two exceptions. One involved possible repercussions to Shelly’s father. This was left vague, with Shelly concluding that whatever happened would be alright. This felt too wish-washy and, for Shelly to conclude anything without having a better idea of what might happen, it was hard to believe she would know how she felt. The other loose end is related to a subsidiary character who was apparently a red herring. I shouldn’t say anything more about this, but can say the explanation, while implied, created new questions.

Despite some sticking points, I was able to get back into the story each time. My suspension of disbelief was temporarily shaken, but never permanently shattered. With the exception of these bumps in the road, the story was quite good. Different sub-threads are woven together in such a way that I could see how they related, but enough was held back to give the reader plenty of new discoveries to make as the story reaches its climax.

Format/Typo Issues:

There were a small number of typos and proofing errors. These were generally missing articles (the, a). There were also a number of unneeded hyphens I suspect were inserted as line breaks for a printed version, but are not appropriate for an e-book.

Rating: *** Three stars

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