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Wicked Blood
The Abbey

The Abbey

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

Detective Ash Rashid has been an officer for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department for many years. While being a detective he attends a law school so he can one day be a part of the juridical system but a case that hits close to home might end his career goals. When his niece's body is found in the home of a wealthy family, Ash must work out how she ended up there and why she was dead. During his investigation Ash slowly learns that the case of his niece's death is turning out to be more than he ever expected it to be and it now threatens other family members.

The Abbey is the first book featuring the character Ash Rashid by Chris Culver. For a book that is introducing a new character that's middle aged and established in his life and career, Chris Culver gives a decent account of what the character has been doing. Though there's not much to be told at the start of this book about the character other than he's a cop, he wants to be a lawyer, has a wife and a kid, and is now investigating a case that involves his family. It's all that is needed to be told really, which I liked because there was no wasting of pages trying to tell me what this character has been doing before this particular story begins.

One thing that I liked about the characters is that they are made to feel familiar to me. If that's not what Chris Culver was aiming to do with his writing that is what I ended up getting from them. There's not much to the characters though when it comes to making them different from other mystery novels involving a cop as the main character. Ash is a guy who is smart, he's the good cop, he will do what it takes to get the job done, and though he spends way too much time working he still loves his wife. Along with being a good cop and man, he still has some flaws that make him seem more realistic as we are told what he has to go through during every day life. Not to be left out there's also the cop that is rude, mean, and seems to put more effort into giving Ash a hard time rather than working on the case.

When I read The Abbey it was after I had read The Outsider, the second novel to be about the character of Ash Rashid. Oddly enough I found that reading the second book first gave me a different and maybe a better perspective into how Chris Culvers writing style was different between the two books. What a difference it was too because every time I explained it someone I described the two books as almost being wrote by different people. If it was not for the similar characters appearing in both books, the small details that the character is always bringing up, I would really believe that these two books where written by different people. In the Abbey, the first book, Chris Culver writes in first person format where I'm being told everything that's going on by the main character Ash whereas in the second book, The Outsider, it's told in third person as I read about Ash doing something.

It's a bit odd reading the book in first person but after around halfway through the book I was somewhat ok with it but there was something else that got on my nerves more. It was the telling of the same small detail over and over again. Yes, I understand that the character has a religion that requires him to pray a lot but does that need to be told every time he does it? I have to use the bathroom more than once per day but that don't mean I should let it be known every single time I go. I picked up quickly what the daily rituals where for Ash but then was treated to being told again and again. It got bothersome having to read the same bit of information again with a slight difference in the way it was worded.

It's not a book that surprised me nor is it one that breaks the mold of a cop murder mystery but it was told in an interesting fashion. Chris Culver writes in a way that makes the story easy to read as well as being a fast read. Which ended up being a good thing for me because I had 2 of his books to read in just a little over a month and I'm a slow reader, a very slow reader. Usually it takes me 2 months to read one book and that's if I'm really into the book but I was able to read both of these books in the allotted time. Even though it's a fast read there's just enough information to make the story interesting. Though at times I did wonder why the characters behavior was being wrote in that fashion because it seemed to be they where made to be that way without any real explanation. The story also centers around Ash the whole time and don't include any chapters that has other characters being talked about. With having the whole book be about Ash while he interacts with others is one of the reasons why it's a fast read. Having the only character narration being centered on Ash is good but by not including the thoughts and actions of other characters while leaving out Ash would have explained why they are the way they are in the book. Pretty much it would have given a second point of view in this story that is centered around Ash trying to solve the mystery of his nieces death. The Abbey is a decent book, it has enough mystery in it to keep me interested in finding out who done it and why, and it's a book that's a easy to read story when I want to just read a distracting story.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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