Official Review: Back Bay Murders by Andrew Bonar

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Official Review: Back Bay Murders by Andrew Bonar

Post by Julehart1 » 19 Jun 2019, 21:00

[Following is an official review of "Back Bay Murders" by Andrew Bonar.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Back Bay Murders is a fictional crime novel written by Andrew Bonar. The main protagonist of the book is Drew. He is a former homicide detective who now works as a private investigator. He is hired to investigate what appears to be an accidental drowning. However, as more bodies begin to turn up in the Charles River, he begins to suspect that he is dealing with a murderer. Drew happens to be right. There’s a serial killer on the loose, and his name is Jack. The book covers events from 1986 to 2014, and we meet Drew and Jack at different points in their lives. We meet Jack as a boy and learn what led him to become a monster and a killer. We see him joining a clandestine organization that wants to take advantage of his unique skills and make him even more deadly. We learn how Drew lost his wife in a tragic accident. Will Drew uncover and catch the killer before it’s too late? Who is the mysterious Ashley Tinder? What is she hiding? Can Drew really count on her help to find the serial killer? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this engrossing and twisty thriller.

I enjoyed the fact that the novel was an engaging and captivating read. The premise, the plot, and the brisk pacing of the book draw the reader in. It was fascinating reading about how Jack grew up and how he developed his sociopathic tendencies. There was an air of mystery and suspense all throughout the book, especially with the Ashley Tinder character and the clandestine organization that hires Jack. There were many twists and turns along the way, and I’m happy to say they mostly all worked.

Despite the obvious dark themes in the book, I liked that there were also lighter moments. The relationship that developed between Drew and Jen was very natural and fun. Jen was another unlikely ally for Drew that also helped him find the killer. Drew and Ashley also shared a strong bond from the start. All of the major characters were pretty well-developed and had their own personalities.

Of course with this being a book about a serial killer, there were some disturbing and violent scenes in the novel. I didn’t think they were overly gratuitous but felt the need to mention these scenes exist.

One of the issues that I had with the book was that I felt that it could have delved even deeper into Jack’s psyche. The relationship between Jack and his father could have been further explored. I don’t want to spoil too much, but Jack’s father was crucial to his development. I wish that there were more scenes between those two because the father seemed to just drop from his life very suddenly.

The organization that Jack joins was a very mysterious part of the book. It would probably be better if we knew more about them. They are seemingly super powerful, and I would like to know more about how they operate and what it is they are really after. It was obvious that the organization killed any humanity Jack had left and made him even more vicious. He no longer had any guilt and became a true psychopath after joining them. It was strange how they weren’t happy when Jack killed someone they didn’t assign him to kill. But, the reason that the organization recruited him in the first place was because he was a crazy killer, and they purposely brought that side further out of him. They wanted him to be a killing machine but only for them. The problem was that Jack was addicted to killing at that point. They were the true evil in this book, and I wish there was a bigger focus on explaining who they were.

I’m rating this book 3 out of 4 stars. I thought the premise, the plot, and the pacing of the book all worked very well. I liked reading about Jack’s background and how he developed his sociopathic tendencies. I really enjoyed the many twists in the book. The author knows how to build suspense and make the book a real page-turner. The lighter moments in the book were also appreciated. The book was very professionally edited. I couldn’t find a single error. I’m taking a star away because I felt that Jack’s relationship with his father could have been explored further, and the book could have delved deeper into his psyche. I also wish that we knew more about the mysterious organization that hired Jack to kill. I would recommend this book for people that like crime novels and don’t mind dark themes and violence.

Back Bay Murders
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Post by Letora » 21 Jun 2019, 06:20

Stories that show how a killer becomes what they always fascinate me. It's also good learning material for my own writing down the road :) Thank you for mentioning the violent scenes. If an author adds them only for shock value I tend to demote the book a star, but if they have a clear point for the story I don't have a problem reading them. Great review!
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Post by kdstrack » 21 Jun 2019, 17:16

The author did a good job of developing the character of Jack, and he also left a bit of mystery in his past. Maybe there is a sequel coming to reveal more details? I like your description of the relationships that developed during the story. Great review!

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 22 Jun 2019, 06:07

This book sounds really good! I like that you mentioned that it might be even better if the author delved deeper into Jack's pysche.Thanks for the engaging review!

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Post by Magnify3 » 25 Jun 2019, 03:13

Thanks for the review. Although it sounds interesting, I will give this one a pass.

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Post by Kathleen Wolfe » 14 Jul 2019, 09:59

I always love a good thriller. The sociopath/killer background is something that is often left out, I like that the author has chosen to include it. I would definitely read this book. Great review.

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Post by Nisha Ward » 25 Jul 2019, 11:53

I like looking at what could drive people to become murderers and this sounds like an excellent take on it.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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