Sunday, October 20, 2013

Rigor Mortis / Jeni Decker

This is the first half of a double shot review. For the second half of the double shot (this afternoon, US time) you'll get my (BigAl's) review of the same book. To whet your appetite I'll say that I understand and agree with Keith's take, but mine is very different. I'm anticipating some discussion. :)

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Thriller/ Crime Fiction/Detective Mystery

Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


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.

You can learn more about the author here on her website or blog.


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.

Format/Typo Issues:


Rating:  *** Three Stars

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