Thursday, February 2, 2012

First Chapter Review: A Promise to Keep by L.C. Lang

I'm still not out of Christmas reading mode, but this is one of my recent free grabs from Kindle, so I thought I would share it with you.

TITLE: A Promise to Keep


BLURB: Marcie Jackson is a new state police detective. At her first crime scene, she finds a gold link bracelet, the same bracelet she had found near her late fiancé‘s body. At first, she figures it is just a coincidence, but there are more murders. And more bracelets. Marcie is sure she knows who is behind it, but has to prove it. During her investigation, she finds a major drug organization. When she finds the real force behind the organization, she is in a race for her life.

COVER:  I like it. The grey marble signifies death and the red rose--love.  While you can't see much of the engraving on the stone, you do get the words "Love Lives On" and see what appears to be entwined rings above it, which can signify not only the unity of love, but the bracelets the main character keeps finding at the murder scenes.

FIRST CHAPTER:  We meet Marcie on the first day of her new job as a state police detective. The only woman, she is pretty much dismissed by this all boys club. Even her partner, Mark, isn't friendly. She keeps reminding herself however, that she's doing this for Jerry, her deceased fiancé.

She and Mark are called in to investigate the murder of a family--parents, three girls and a boy. They meet Detective John Anderson of the Indianapolis Metro Police Department at the scene. Again, Marcie is ignored by her colleagues, so she takes out her notebook, jots down what she hears, and begins sketching what she sees. In the master bedroom Marcie finds an expensive gold link bracelet just like the one she found near Jerry after he was murdered. Maybe it's just a coincidence.

KEEP READING: Not likely. This story is told from Marcie's point of view as a first person narrator. This is a difficult POV to get right. It limits you to what the narrator can see, feel, hear, etc. When you have a strong narrator, the challenge is to show more than you tell. The first chapter tells the reader everything Marcie experiences through her thoughts and senses, but it isn't a deep POV. Here are two examples:

"I am wearing a pair of black slacks, a burgundy turtleneck sweater, and a matching black jacket."

"Down the hallway was a small room that was sort of a mini lunchroom. Inside the room were a small table and two chairs, three vending machines and a coffee pot sitting on a small shelf."

Add to this the many overused words ("building" is used five times in the first paragraph), and it makes for a choppy read.

The idea has great promise. The first person POV could still work if it was deepened to make the reader feel she was alongside Marcie experiencing things with her instead of like she's being spoken at from a distance.

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 300 KB
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B005110K3A
Currently listed as FREE

I downloaded a free copy of this book to my Kindle. I received no monetary compensation for this review.

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