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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Brooks Berry In The Case of The Haunted Cabin by Michael James

Blurb: Boy detective Brooks Berry is at it again in this second installment in the series. This time he travels with his sister, Ally, to visit his Grandparents in Arizona. While on their visit, their Grandfather takes them to stay at a friend's cabin with the ulterior motive of having Brooks solve the mystery of who is haunting it. 

Reviewed by Dale

I have read the first Brooks mystery (Reviewed here), so when the opportunity came along to try the second one I couldn't resist another look at this amiable character.

The same great compact style by author Michael James remains as he lays down red herring after false clue and then leads you about the cold snow covered hillsides of Arizona chasing ghosts.

The sidekick has changed to Brooks' sister Alley though she doesn't play a large role in this story. It's a shame really as I think a great sidekick always helps to add depth to any story. It can also help add dialogue to an otherwise narrative driven scene. Sidekicks can also be used as barometers of the main characters feelings and thoughts.

The pace is reasonable, a couple of times I hurriedly turned the page to find out what was in store for our hero as he put together the pieces of the story. The underground tunnel when Brooks discovers he is not alone was well written and deliciously suspenseful. 

Sadly the characterizations still seem a little bland. I was hoping to see more of Brooks' personality as this is the second story following this character. I should have a well developed sense of who he is but there still seems to be little follow through here. After his sister was locked in his room by an intruder I might have expected some kind of emotional outburst. Maybe Brooks is stone cold? A Gollum of clay that's Holmes-like detached from his surroundings in pursuit of the answers? Not much reflection or reaction by the protagonist as he meets the challenges and struggles to overcome them.

The plot is great, a well constructed mystery, with plenty of suspense and probably enough clues fro the average smart reader to solve, I'm not saying if I did...I always wonder how authors go about constructing mysteries, leaving the bread crumbs for their readers and sleuths to follow. Do they write backwards perhaps from resolution to revelation? 

So I still don't have any reservations in recommending this series as a good read. It would be great if Brooks' true self was fleshed out more in the next book maybe. All the great detectives I can remember had some weird trait, Holmes had a violin, Kojak had a lolipop, Colombo had his rain coat and 'just one last question', even Scooby had scrappy snacks.

Dont wait go read it for yourself today!

Format: eBook
Available from Smashwords
Link to Download: Here
Price: US$1.99c
Wordcount: 27,000 (appx)
Michael James

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