As a born and bred Southerner, I often enjoy reads set in the deep South. So I was interested in the plot of Midnight on the Mississippi when I read the book's synopsis. Unfortunately I wasn't impressed as I read, and this is one I don't highly recommend.
From the book's description:
Midnight on the Mississippi begins the new Secrets of the South Mysteries from bestselling author Mary Ellis. These complex crime dramas follow an investigator's quest to make the world a better place...solving one case at a time. New Orleans--Hunter Galen, a stock and securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, may be involved in embezzling their clients' money, but he's reluctant to jeopardize their friendship based on suspicion alone. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life. Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker's murder, recover the missing millions from the client accounts, and establish herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen Investments, Hunter's fiancee, Ashley Menard, rubs Nicki the wrong way. Nicki doesn't trust the ostentatious woman with an agenda longer than the Mississippi River. Ashley seems to be hiding something, but is Nicki's growing attraction to Hunter--a suspected murderer--her true reason for disliking Ashley? As they encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and murder, Nicki and Hunter's only option is to turn to God as they search for answers, elude lethal danger, and perhaps discover love along the way.
The story isn't particularly bad. There is definite potential in the story line. But the characters aren't well developed at all. The story turns into more of a narrative of events. And some of the conversation is pretty stilted and forced sounding. As a result the book has a choppy tone, and I just couldn't get into it.
On the positive side, it is a simple, quick read and could make for an easy read to pick up if you enjoy crime and suspense story lines and if you overlook the lack of depth and character development. The book is the first in a crime drama series, I believe. There is room for continued character development if the same characters are in subsequent books.
I give this one 3 stars and a PG-13 rating for content. (It is a crime drama with murder and description of violence.) You can find Midnight on the Mississippi on Amazon here.
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