I was asked to read Kristin Wolden Nitz’s Suspect and after reading the description, I was eager to do so. Being a fan of the show “Veronica Mars”, I enjoy a good mystery and I couldn’t wait to see how the story would enfold.
Through Jen’s actions, thoughts, and behavior, Ms. Nitz has given her an authentic teenage persona and voice, which helps make Jen a great narrator and main character. I also really enjoyed the way Ms. Nitz pulled me into the story and made me feel and think the same things Jen does, including second guessing her relationships with her family and friends as the mystery surrounding her mother’s disappearance unravels.
Even though there’s no paranormal element to Suspect, the plot held my interest and I couldn’t stop reading until I had reached the very last page. I love how Ms. Nitz used Jen’s grandmother’s murder mystery weekend as a tool to help uncover the truth behind Jen’s mother’s disappearance.
My biggest issue with Suspect was with the dialogue. More often than not, the dialogue felt awkward and flat. Ms. Nitz’s frequent use of “said” contributes to this. As a writer, I know simple speaker tags like “said” are better than flowery ones, but in order to evoke more emotion, I think something more than just “said” would have been nice.
Despite this, Ms. Nitz’s writing is really solid. Her descriptions are specific and don’t leave the reader wondering what she wanted to convey and her characters are all well-rounded. Each character is distinct and their relationships with one another come across clearly and believably. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Jen and Mark, her “uncounsin”. Surprisingly, I liked the character of Bri because I know people like her and I thought Ms. Nitz captured that kind of a personality realistically.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Suspect. Although it was out of my usual reading box, I became wrapped up in the mystery and just when I thought I had it figured out, the author threw in a twist that changed my thinking. For anyone looking for a quick and engaging mystery, Kristin Wolden Nitz’ Suspect is for you! For more information on the novel and Kristin Wolden Nitz, please visit:
(cover image taken from Barnes and Noble’s website)