Susan’s Review: Barbados Heat by Don Bruns

Posted: January 4, 2015 in Reviews
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I started reading Don Bruns’ Mick Sever series in the middle, a number of years ago. I was an instant fan, so that meant I had to go back to the beginning.

With Barbados Heat, I’m not quite at the beginning. This is the second in the series and even though it’s been a number of years since I read St. Barts Breakdown, I could still appreciate how much Bruns has grown as a writer since this early book.

That’s not to say it’s a bad book. Not at all. In fact, it fills in many of the holes and questions I’d had because I’d started in the middle. It’s nice to see Sever’s ex-wife, Ginny, in action. It’s good to see a rougher version of the man Sever becomes.

Sever is more of a music journalist than investigator in this book, but this might be where the transition begins. A former music biz insider turned Senator (who now crusades against the language in rap music) has been murdered, and it’s the senator’s son who’s been accused of the murder. Problem is, the son was one of Sever’s best friends. Not only does Sever have a plum story dropped in his lap, but his motivation for getting to the bottom of things has skyrocketed. His present is a stroll down memory lane, but not all’s what it seems.

Of course Severs gets to the bottom of things; that’s what happens in a mystery novel. What’s fun is the way in which he does it, with things exploding, people chasing each other, threats that may not be real, and a sense of foreboding that turns out to be a red herring.

The biggest problem with the book is that it often felt like there was more in author Bruns’ imagination than reached the page. This is hardly a fatal issue; it’s that the book would have been better, richer, rounder if all that information had been there on the page instead of someplace where I can glimpse it but not touch it. Oh, so tempting.

I’m still a fan of this series, and there’s plenty more books for me to catch up with. Can’t wait.


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