Monday, November 17, 2014

Dual Review: "Freak Show" by Patti Larsen

Title: Freak Show (The Nightshade Cases, #1)
Author: Patti Larsen
Genre: Paranormal
Publication: June 12, 2014
Pages: 153


When transsexual starlet Aisling is murdered, Detective Geraldine Meyers is assigned the case. With help from medical examiner Dr. Rachel Hunter, Gerri realizes this is no ordinary killing. While she might not want to call in over-eager anthropologist Dr. Kinsey DanAllart, the detective is forced to trust her friend's expertise in symbology, even though doing so means admitting "weird" things might be happening in Silver City. As the three friends unravel the mystery of the dancer's death, one thing is made absolutely apparent--something isn't right in their new hometown. And someone is doing everything they can to make sure the truth doesn't come out.

In Silver City, sometimes friendship can be murder.

Welcome to the first Nightshade Case, a series of twenty-one episodes in twenty-one weeks. Please note: this episodic series is based on the television show model, with screenwriting notations and shorter formats. There will be a complete mystery each week, with cliffhangers only occurring in the full season story line.

Tori Review

I am an ardent lover of paranormal thrillers AND a good nitty-gritty cop drama. With shows like Criminal Minds where you get to watch some serious profiling AND Shemar Moore airing weekly…I mean who wouldn’t be, right? So naturally, my interest was quite piqued when Freak Show, that encompasses both genres, came across my reading list. I was interested in seeing how twenty-one short books would be turned into “episodes” released over twenty-one weeks in a television show model. Would the writing be developed enough to keep me interested? Would it be too choppy for me to truly consider it a “book?” I had questions dancing around in my head that had me hesitating.

I was, however, happy to discover that after a few pages…I was fairly sucked into the episode. I won’t give away too much of the story as it is such a short read. It should leave you feeling like you just watched the pilot to a new season on TV. Like any pilot or new series, there are some glitches scattered about with the setup and the flow from character to character. Nevertheless, Larsen does a solid job of slowly releasing little bits of information in such a manner as to drastically up the tension throughout the episode. She did well in keeping the pace of each plotline moving as it should: faster with the investigation of the murders and slower with the mysteries surrounding the main characters.

I give this episode 3 quills. I was wrapped up in all the drama and the last few pages certainly had me wondering and plotegizing (wait…that’s not a word is it…oh well). The paranormal has taken up residence in Silver City and I have no doubt that the next episode will hold many more tricks and treats for the readers.

Until next time!


  Tori is a  24 year old tiny oddball of a woman who ardently loves rainy days and festive repartee. A college graduate, she holds a degree in communications with an emphasis on writing for media. Tori is currently an Assistant librarian working towards getting her Master's in Library Science. You will not find it surprising that this Auggie-Talk Co-Blogger is a passionate devotee of impulsive bookstore perusing and reading far past the point of exhaustion.

Auggie Review

Crime, paranormal shenanigans, and... wait... Episodes? What a novel idea! For readers who are are looking for that "inbetween" read that bridges the gap between their 300+ page novels this is the perfect series for you.

The series is organized into short-book installments that read like television shows. It may take a minute to get used to the new format, but the cast will make it pretty worth your while. Our leading ladies run in to some VERY suspicious happenings in their new haunt, and I'm talking about something more suspicious than a murdered dancer. It may take you a bit to get in to the new format, and a cliffhanger short-story line. Though I felt that the first episode just wasn't quite "WOWZERS!" enough for a "pilot", I did find that Geraldine, Rachel, and Kinsey had an interesting enough dynamic that made it worth my while to keep reading.

A fascinating idea of "Episodes" will keep you coming back for more of "The Nightshade Cases" even if the first episode doesn't really ring your bell. I definitely suggest giving this short-book series a try!

Even though the first book didn't totally stoke my fire, it was enough to keep me interested in picking up the others. Maybe it'll do the same for you. Won't know until you try!

Auggie is the 27 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk, a part-time Reference Librarian with a degree in Anthropology and a nearly completed Masters in Library Science. A bibliobibuli by nature and a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. One can normally find Auggie neck deep in reading, writing, or daydreaming (sometimes all three at once).  She's also been known to drink too much caffeine and eat too many lemon flavored sweets.

No comments:

Post a Comment