by Norah McClintock
Ryan Dooley Mystery series; book III
Okay, as a preface, I just loove this series. It's definitely different from most YA books I read, I mean it's a crime/mystery one! The first book is called "Dooley Takes the Fall", the second, "Homicide Related". Uhm... both ROCK. You should definitely read them.
For the past six months, Dooley's girlfriend Beth has been a loving presence in his life-- a constant reminder for him to keep on the straight and narrow, away from the unsavoury life and shady characters that have peopled Dooley's past.
But when he is confronted with rumors about Beth's involvement with another guy, Dooley's world is pushed to the brink-- and it's up to him to unravel the increasingly complex truth, or be overwhelmed by the lies and injustice swirling around him.
My Expectations: I was a bit apprehensive that this wouldn't hold up to my high expectations after the first two awesome books!
Delivery: Very well done, loved almost every aspect :)
Victim Rights lets me back into the awesomely familiar world of Ryan Dooley, I just love reading about every aspect of this boy's life, seriously. The conflict is immediately introduced without much dilly-dallying and Dooley's reactions are something that I found was true to his character (despite some angsty groans from me).
As usual, McClintock takes readers for a ride, having events gradually build and build before she throws yet another curveball at you. There were some jaw-dropping moments that kept the intensity going, never lulling back into a sluggish pace. What I liked about this third installment is that she focuses a lot more on characters, on Dooley and Beth in particular, than she did in the previous novel where the crime overruled.
Another aspect about this novel I enjoyed is that the third person narrative didn't disconnect the reader in me, it sucked me back into the story pretty quickly, as if there wasn't even a year in between reading books 2 and 3. A slight disappointment I had with the novel is that I didn't feel the desperation and urgency as much as I did in the previous two. True, they deal with vastly different topics, but especially with the second twist I didn't find everything as... atmospheric.
There is an underlying mystery in this book that's mentioned briefly throughout several scenes that is the basis of Dooley's alibi which I just couldn't get myself to love. It didn't play a big enough factor for being such a big plot point, if you get what I mean. In the first two books the 'underlying mystery' blew me away, this time I was underwhelmed. But alas, it is underlying for a reason, because the overlying stuff was fantastic.
A sensitive topic of rape is included in this novel, and it was handled very well. It wasn't really the same style as The Mockingbirds, and I also felt while it is a heavy theme, it doesn't dominate the novel. It adds to characterization in a positive way without being melodramatic.
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: Readers looking for some fantastic crime and mystery YA that is becoming rare in this genre!
8.6/10 - because I'm just in love with the characters and the plot is, as usual, both thrilling and interesting. It's fun being sucked back into the world of Dooley and his troubles to be honest, and it was satisfying to know that this series definitely isn't taking a dip as it continues. Although it is a little on the mature-YA spectrum, if this sounds like your cup of tea, I would for sure tell you to go for it! You definitely won't regret it :)
my review of book II