Dark Ending – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

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C.L. Brees

In C.L. Brees’ Dark Ending, NYPD homicide detective Alex Jones is investigating the serial murders of several young women in New York City. As the number of victims quickly starts to pile up, Alex is in a race against the clock to solve the murders and catch the criminal behind them—but it could end up costing him everything.

In many ways, Dark Ending is simply a cliché detective story. Incredibly familiar to others like it, the plot is predictable and sometimes borders on being uninteresting. The pacing is often slow and drawn out, making characters, dialogue, or entire scenes seem wooden or unrealistic. Other times, there’s just too much going on at once and it all gets to be confusing. On top of all that, the sheer lack of thorough editing in this novel is distracting and unfortunately hinders the overall story. Perhaps with some additional revisions and more attention to detail, Dark Ending could more easily live up to its obvious potential.

That potential reveals itself in many other areas, particularly in the author’s strong descriptive language and straightforward style of writing. C.L. Brees is clearly a talented writer with an impressive knack for the crime genre. Dark Ending’s characters are realistic and relatable, as is the overall plot. There is plenty to be enjoyed in this intriguing murder mystery, from the well-rounded characters to the surprising ending. Though it would certainly benefit from further editing and revision, Dark Ending is a great, captivating novel nonetheless—one that fans of crime thrillers and detective mysteries are sure to love.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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