The Outsider

The Outsider

Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
# of Pages: 

Seasoned Police Detective Ash Rashid has seen a lot during his career as a police officer but he can still be surprised with what his job brings. While sitting at home, Ash is visited by a local mob boss who tells Ash that there is a case he needs to look into. After checking into the case, Ash finds out that a friend was found dead by a hit and run but no one knows anything about it. Ash gets drawn into this mystery of a case that involves a death that has all the signs of a murder but what he discovers are ugly truths about the police force and people he knows. His friend, the mother of his daughters best friend, is dead, the police don't know anything about it, neighbors are being threaten by what might be police detectives, and Ash's job has now been put on the line because of it but he will not let anything deter him from finding the truth, not even when his family is threaten.

This is the second book for the Ash Rashid character by Chris Culver and it's the first one that I read of the series. When I read this book I didn't know it was the second of the two, which normally I try my best to avoid doing if at possible, but in this case I just couldn't find anywhere that said this was book two. Not that it mattered because after reading this book I realized that I didn't have to have any prior knowledge of the character to follow along with the story. If this was the only book that you read of the Ash Rashid character than you will be reading a book that is easily a stand-alone book. Sure, there are characters being used in this book that where used in the first book, The Abbey, but that book and what the characters do in it plays no real roll in what happens in The Outsider.

As I read The Outsider, because it was the first, I didn't notice the difference in writing styles from the first book The Abbey. Once I read The Abbey it was easily seen what the differences where between the two and how this book is wrote in such a different manner. With The Outsider, Chris Culver writes in the typical book style of having it done in third person. I'm being told what Ash is doing, what he's seeing, and what others are doing by someone else. It's a story being told to me but in the first book The Abbey, Chris Culver writes in first person where Ash is telling me the story. This change is a very different between the books but it's the style I liked the best out of the two. Though it was different having The Abbey being told in first person view, I enjoy reading a story where it's almost like I'm a part of the story as it unfolds.

One thing I noticed more so in this book was getting told about the same thing multiple times. With some instances it needs to be done because it was part of the character but there are certain occasions that it felt like Chris Culver was telling me something just to tell it. Though that is not my biggest con for this book. During the building of the story and mystery of the case, Ash was going around asking questions that led him to other questions and answers. However, instead of having to work out each lead and figure out where they would lead, Ash just seemed to find his way so easily. There are a lot of questions that I had for the character as he went on the search to solve the mystery. One is why is it so easy for him to know who to call and why did they all have some form of an answer to give him? Everything seemed too easy and then the book was over and I was left wondering exactly how did he solve the case. If all those people knew what was going on then why was it allowed to continue or not be stopped? It's similar to me calling 411 looking to find the number and address to a business, I'll be greeted, asked what I need, and then I’m told the answer. That's how this was done, Ash needed to find some information, he would make a call, greeted, he asked the question, then he was told where to go. Once there he would have new questions but then the same formula was used in him getting those questions answered and so on until the case was solved.

Those are my only real negative remarks about the book and writing style of Chris Culver, which for the second was kind of a major one considering this is a mystery novel and having how it's solved explained well does more for the book than the mystery of it does. But I do want to say that it's not so bad that the book wasn't enjoyable. I did like the mystery itself and how it made me want to know what was going on. The Outsider was a story that felt like it could be made into a good movie, with some fleshing out of the story some, it has a good plot and idea behind it. It's an easy book to read where I was able to finish it pretty quickly and ahead of the time frame that I thought I was going to. Ash seems like he could be someone I could know in life because he has flaws that make him relatable as well as being someone that fits well in a book where he seems to be more than the average guy. The Outsider is a book that I would read when I just want to read a book while not having to worry about getting too involved or when I just want something to take my mind off things. It's not deep or life changing nor would it be one of those literary novels that stand the test of time to be taught in classes but it's a decent book to read when wanting a mystery novel with a good plot and an ending.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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