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Pat Randolph Mysteries: The Case of Lori Larkin


Worth reading 😎

Foster’s mysteries are filled with potential. I hope he continues to tell them and hones his skills.

The greatest compliment I can give this first-time author is that he can tell a story. Many mysteries, even by well-known authors struggle to reel out a tale that is immediately likable and poses a puzzle worthy of attention. Detective fans who thirst to discover new climes and a sleuth that might literarily grow on you will find a treat in The Case of Lori Larkin. The novel is a good start, but a Pat Randolph series as its title implies will not reach potential unless the author’s skills grow. Many readers might find the prose boiler plate. There were a few moments when the words seemed drawn from a 1990’s TV cop drama.

The main character Pat Randolph, an intern with the small Windy City Police Department is quickly recognizable to anyone who has lived in the small cities or towns across the Rust Belt. They are rife with eager young men with big dreams. Randolph burns to solve a murder and a disappearance, and Foster’s plot unrolls in a setting where the things that do not quite fit or make sense can abound. Meanwhile, the environment is small enough that the hero can maintain control.

The novel winds through several mysteries, but the plot twists do not fake out readers. Foster's “meat and potatoes” slow-paced plot satisfied my appetite for a puzzle to solve. The largest critiques are that writing is too straightforward and simple. The book begs for vibrant scenes, and the dialogue is flat as the bottom in three-stack pancakes. For example:

Pat grabbed a glass from his kitchen cabinet and filled the glass with water from the kitchen sink. He handed the glass of water to Kathy.

She drank from the glass and said to Pat, “How long have you lived here?”

Pat said to Kathy, “I moved into the apartment a few days ago.”

Kathy said to Pat, “I would like to freshen up; where is your bathroom?”

Pat said to Kathy, “It’s in the bedroom, the first door on your left.”

Kathy said to Pat, “I will be right back.”

Foster’s mystery mind is filled with potential. I hope he continues to hone his skills in this genre. This first novel is like a step into light. Now he can be seen. More than that, he and Pat Randolph are ready. 

Reviewed by

I review a broad range of works in fiction, nonfiction and poetry, especially related to history, politics, culture, and memoir. My works go back more than 40 years in a wide range of publications. I love a good story and really appreciate knowledge.

Pat Randolph

About the author

I am originally from Chicago and was inspired to write by my late father. He was an avid reader and encouraged me to be one too. I am a first time published author seeking reviews. view profile

Published on September 29, 2021

Published by

20000 words

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by