Belle Chasse, by William Lovejoy

I recently read and reviewed William Lovejoy’s mystery, Belle Chasse. I wanted to highlight it here, and elaborate a little. William and I are in a Crime Fiction group on LinkedIn but we don’t know each other.  However it was a delight to get to know somebody through their writing.

First, the official review:

5.0 out of 5 stars High octane adventure, August 26, 2013
By Lise McClendon (Bozeman, Montana)
This review is from: Belle Chasse (Kindle Edition)

Belle Chasse is a great read, an adventure on — and under — the high seas! I enjoyed the mystery so much, as William Lovejoy’s deft handling of point-of-view, between the NOLA cops looking for the perpetrator of a particularly gruesome murder and the ex-husband of the victim, kept the tension and suspense high. If you’ve ever wondered how undersea salvage works (and are unwilling to go down with Dirk Pitt) read Belle Chasse. Convincing scenes, well-drawn characters, and high drama with modern-day pirates… what could go wrong? 🙂

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I really enjoyed this story. The main character is an ex-Navy SEAL who lives on an old riverboat, the Belle Chasse, moored at New Orleans. He owns a boat sales yard so there is much to do about boats, their sizes, classes, engine power, speeds, knots, and a whole lot of stuff I know nothing about. It was fun to learn, as always. I love learning new things while reading fiction.

The secondary central character is a police officer who is trying to solve the crime of the murder of the ex-SEAL’s ex-wife.  One of the problems for me was keeping these characters straight. The MC’s name is Kenney. Yet there is also a character named Kendall. This is one of those things that as a writer you don’t even notice. But you should. Nothing should impede the reader’s comprehension of who and what you’re talking about.

The cop is a great character, a female officer, twice-divorced, who lives for her work. Of course there is a little sexual tension between them, maybe a lot on her side. The only character I wished I knew better was the victim, the ex-wife. It’s difficult to flesh out (argh, sorry)  a victim who never is truly “alive” in any way in a mystery. How do you make the reader care for them, besides the horrible violence done against them? When the worm turns and she’s not who she seemed, how do we continue to care? It turns out Kenney didn’t know her as well as he thought he did. Not unusual in crime fiction. But I still would have liked a little deeper explanation into the person she is revealed to be in the end. I can’t help it — I’m a character nut! I love deep characterization, I admit it. Maybe a men’s adventure/mystery doesn’t warrant that sort of introspection or psychology. But I miss it anyway, that’s just me. Thanks for a great read, William.

What are you reading– and what can you recommend?

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