Reviewed by: Keith Nixon
Genre: Thriller/ Crime Fiction/Detective Mystery
Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words
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Jeni Decker lives on a farm in Michigan with her family. She is the author of several books. Rigor Mortis is the first about PI Dex Morneau.
Dex Morneau, down at the heel PI, is hired to investigate the disappearance of a client’s cousin, Crystal Bell. They quickly happen across her body. As Dex and his recently acquired assistant, Carla Danning, try to find the killer they become embroiled in a plot much wider than either expected.
Sometimes stories require a suspension of disbelief from the reader / watcher. In the case of Rigor Mortis there were several instances where this was needed. Unfortunately these were so large that it took the shine off the story for me. More on this shortly.
Rigor Mortis is written in the first person, observed through Dex’s eyes. He’s a man with a deep seated problem which he deals with by drinking to excess.
Excessive excess. Over time we learn that Dex used to be a writer and gave it all up. Which brings in Carla.
Provocative (verbally and bodily) she has major problems too. These, and how she ends up with Dex, which are explained as the story unfolds.
The pair investigate the death of Crystal Bell, a cleaner and employee of a local company. The story itself was relatively well written and the pace clips along. However there were several elements that I struggled with. First is the constantly provocative nature of Carla. Rather than being sassy and driven I found her crude and slightly irritating. Then there’s Dex, he’s a bit too much of a drunk.
Then we come to the suspension of disbelief. The crux of the story is there’s been a massive oil spill. Basically it’s massive and no-one has paid it any attention. Really? A few cleaners locally to mop up tonnes of material? I don’t think so. It would be all over the news. Sorry, too much of a stretch.
And how Carla ended up with Dex? Also a stretch.
Not a bad story, but it just didn’t capture me.
Plenty of swearing.
Rating: *** Three Stars