Book Review: Death and Disapperances

Death and DisappearancesDeath and Disappearances by Richard Smiraldi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Montgomery Clark, a struggling author who is lucky enough to come from a family who can afford to support a starving artist, is frantically looking for his missing wife, Petula Beaujolais. She stormed out after a spat and hasn’t been seen since. On his way to find her we meet many characters, some from the present and some not so present. Will he find her and reunite or will the worst be discovered?

Death and Disappearances reads like 1950’s film noire, with a bit of more modern sparkly vampire supernatural thrown in for good measure. The main characters, particularly the upper class socialite snobs, seem a little over the top to be believable, although terribly amusing. I have to admit the ending was a bit predictable, but I would have actually liked more monologuing by the eventual villain, particularly more about how/why Petula’s fate came to be. She reconciled the explanation a bit too quickly and cleanly with Mont, and the supernatural aspect led to more confusion than was necessary I thought, at least without getting into more of that dimension, as it left me feeling more like it was just weird than awed or scared. Overall a quick, interesting read, but I thought it just needed a little more polishing.

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