Fog City Strangler
written by Greg Messel
published by Greg Messel
Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Where I stopped reading: Sometime after chapter 5.
Why I stopped reading: I wasn’t able to finish it.
I was really excited to start this story. I love mysteries and this seemed like a great one. I was captivated by the setting of San Francisco in the 1950s.
So it was disappointing when I finally called it quits and put this book down. The primary reason I had to stop was the pages of the book kept falling out. Whatever room I was reading in ended up littered with loose sheets of paper. If I had to turn back for any reason, I had to skim through the unattached sheets trying to find the relevant paper.
The second reason I couldn’t go on involved an abundance of redundancy. In twelve pages, I counted nine references to how beautiful Sam’s wife was. One nice description and then moving on would have been so much more effective. By the time I got to Chapter 5, the incessant references to her tiny waste line, ample breast, beautiful figure, etc. started to make me a little queasy – enough already.
I’d love to see this guy find the most ruthless editor on the planet. I hope that editor chops out about 1/3 of the book, and then sends it to a publisher with some really sticky glue to get those darned pages to stay attached.
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Fog City Strangler is 3.91. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. There were 4 4-star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, the majority of the reviews were 5 stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.
About the book: As 1958 nears an end San Francisco is being terrorized by a man who calls himself the “Fog City Strangler,” who preys on pretty young blonde women. The strangler announces each murder by sending a note and piece of cloth from the victim’s dresses to the local newspapers.
Private eye Sam Slater is worried that the Fog City Strangler may be eyeing his beautiful blonde wife, stewardess Amelia Ryan. Sam’s angst mounts as the strangler continues to claim more victims. His anxiety is further fueled when TWA launches an advertising campaign with Amelia’s picture on a series of billboards plastered all over the city. Sam fears the billboards may attract too much attention–the wrong kind of attention.
Meanwhile, Sam and Amelia are hired to try to find the missing daughter of a wealthy dowager who fears she has lost her only child. The missing woman went for a walk with her dog on StinsonBeach, near San Francisco, and seemingly vanished into thin air. The woman’s husband arrived at their beach house and found the dog running loose but there was no trace of his wife. The police are stumped in their investigation.
As Sam and Amelia look into the disappearance of the woman on the beach they discover that nothing is as it seems at first glance. On a stormy night a shadowy figure sets fire to the beach house where the couple is staying–hoping to stop their investigation.
FogCity Strangler is a stand-alone thriller but is part of the Sam Slater Mystery Series–Last of the Seals, Deadly Plunge and San Francisco Secrets.