Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BR: Homicide Related- A Ryan Dooley Mystery


by Norah McClintock

Wow, this sure is a great time to be writing a review...2 in the morning... Anyways, I read this book a couple days ago and have just been waiting for the mood to write a wicked review, so here it goes! Oh, this is the sequel to Dooley Takes the Fall (2nd in a trilogy). I read the first book before making a blog, so unfortunately, I don't have a review. However, (here)'s a link to Casey at bookworm4life, her review inspired me to pick up this series.

Ryan Dooley is back, ladies and gentleman, and he is more desirable than ever! (except for the fact that he already has a girlfriend, Beth, and he is really into her and not me...) Okay, here's the actual normalish summary. Dooley can't seem to catch enough breaks, he hates school, hates his job, hates his uncle's short leash, but likes his girlfriend (who might be seeing another guy). He's been working hard to set his life straight, no longer involved with booze and drugs. That is, until an old friend from the old days shows up and asks for a loan. Then his mother appears after years of no contact, only to be murdered. If that's not enough though, Dooley's uncle seems to have secrets of his own. On a path to find the truth, Dooley has to face his own past with his mother, his old life, and his family.

Straight to the point: I loved this book. It was a great, thrilling, fast-paced, crime/mystery novel, which I feel the YA section seriously lacks these days. Dooley is an excellent character, and you can't help but root for him. He's been through a lot of crap, and he's finally getting his life straight with good intentions, but bad stuff just seems to happen around him.

The mystery element of the novel was written very well by McClintock (she's written a lot of other mystery novels, which are usually pretty decent), and I loved the foreshadowing. Small conversations reappear as significant clues, and even a casual comment has some underlying meaning for Dooley to figure out later in the novel. I liked reading about Dooley trying to piece together all these clues, even if the result isn't favorable.

I also really liked characters, starting from his uncle. An ex-cop turned dry-cleaner, he gave Dooley a chance and really helped him turn his life around. It was nice how McClintock would include Jeffie, proving that Dooley hasn't escaped his old life completely yet. I also enjoyed reading about Beth, and her own little mystery. Nevin... won't comment but just think of his name...

Most of all though, I loved Dooley. He's a strong character that struggles to do the right thing, forced to 'suck it up' and let people around him treat him like a criminal. The way he was a flawed character, it made him a lot more realistic. I get so caught up that I want to go into the book and smack the cops, who are total ninnys (that's a word!) and pick on Dooley. More than once, too. I also enjoyed the relationship (or lack thereof) with his mother, and with Beth. Seriously, Dooley and Beth are pretty adorable. The romance in the novel isn't huge-huge, but there's enough that I'm not 'yearning' for more. I fell really creepy writing stuff like that...

I felt the ending was a bit short, or maybe I just wanted the book to go on longer. The strings were mostly tied up, so there's no cliffie (which is a relief or I will be way too antsy anticipating the next book). Oh, and I wanted to mention I can't WAIT to read the last book in this trilogy. Oh Dooley, look what you've done to me :)

9.3/10 - because I loved this. Most enjoyable parts were the mystery (I read too few these days) and the characters. It was fast-paced, and I liked the little clues and foreshadowing McClintock included. I'm seriously considering making a Dooley fan club...he is honestly probably one of my favorite guys in YA lit. The bad-boy-turned-good is a verrr nice angle. Homicide Related is a guy-friendly novel, and I would recommend this to people who want to read a YA mystery/crime novel.

--AyC

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