Deadly Repercussions – Editorial Review


Title: Deadly Repercussions

Author: Karen Black

Genre: Crime / Murder Mystery


A gruesome double murder sets the scene for Deadly Repercussions, a new crime novel by Karen Black, and triggers a series of events that takes protagonist Elaina on a perilous journey where she will unearth long-buried family secrets, race against time to uncover the truth and bring about justice, and ultimately fight for her very survival. The world turns on a dime and this begs the question: what unintended consequences are brought about by the life choices we made when we thought we had no choice at all?

This book has a solid premise, and its overarching story leaves a lot of room for world-building and exploration. The world of narcotics, criminal groups, and undercover agents—that seedy underbelly that lurks just beneath the surface of our seemingly squeaky-clean reality—have been popular tropes in both print and television recently, and here it served as a good launching point for a decade-spanning action story/thriller/multigenerational family drama.

The scope of the book is large, but in this case the old adage of less being more definitely applies. A bit of editing to bring the book’s ultimate endgame into clearer focus would have increased its impact on readers. As it was, there were sections—especially at the beginning—that felt a bit too packed. The book also had several graphic scenes and violent depictions, but this was sprinkled and woven into the narrative in a way that doesn’t feel gratuitous or simply added for the sake of shock value. Rather, it felt as if these were integral to our understanding of the characters and for moving the story forward.

Side by side with the more gruesome aspects of the book were the central themes of acceptance, forgiveness, honor, and loyalty, and how the echoes of the past can reverberate into the present, for better or for worse. It’s these aspects that provided the book with a strong emotional center, and a foil for its other, darker themes. The juxtaposition and contrast between dark and light elevated Deadly Repercussions from just another suspense novel into a more balanced and nuanced work of fiction.

The writer’s narrative style and plotting techniques, and how it contributes to or affects the reading experience, will vary depending on the reader and his or her expectations going into this book. From a crime/suspense/thriller point of view, the straightforward approach, the linear structure, and the multiple time jumps could detract from the layering of tension and the building of that sense of anticipation that is the hallmark of these genres. However, if one went into this expecting general fiction with a side dish of family secrets that just happened to involve murder, the book delivers perfectly well.

While pacing and plotting might have some room for improvement, the author did an excellent job with her characters. This was perhaps the book’s strongest point.  With a sizable cast, it’s commendable that Karen Black was able to provide most of her characters with a distinct voice and a compelling backstory. From the cantankerous and slightly paranoid patriarch to the strong female lead, all the way down to the people surrounding them, whose motives remain dubious and questionable all throughout and leading up to the plot twist—the strength of the characterizations gave the book the momentum it needed as it raced toward its climactic conclusion.

Deadly Repercussions is an immersive experience, one that shows the cyclical nature of poverty, power, and struggle as well as the lengths people will go to protect what is theirs. A maze of twists, turns, and mind games, this will delight fans of the suspense and mystery genres as well as those looking for something with a little more depth. Through its strong plot and adept characterizations, Deadly Repercussions shows humanity at its worst, replete with flaws and faults, while also highlighting that redemption is always waiting just around the corner, and there is always an opportunity to become a better version of ourselves.



This Editorial Review was written by the Book Review Directory staff. To receive a similarly honest, professional review for one of your own books, click here.

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