REVIEW: A Beast in Venice by Michael E. Hendersen


Title: A Beast in Venice

Author: Michael E. Hendersen

Publisher/Publication Date: Gemelli Press; pub. date Dec. 15, 2013


Well, it had to happen eventually. I suppose it was too much to think that all my reviews could be filled with rainbows and puppies and fangirling. I picked this book up on Netgalley because the plot sounded interesting and I do love all things Italian so the Venetian setting was also a plus. The concept of shroud eaters is intriguing and I’m always up for a good mystery romp with a traditional good versus evil bent. Most of the plot does not disappoint. It’s interesting to see Brigham’s knowledge of shroud eaters develop and there is a lot of potential tension between Brigham and his wife as he struggles to make sense of what is happening and to get her to see what is happening.

So, plot, lots of promise. Execution, however, was more than a little painful. The book is in desperate need of an editor. Much of the dialogue is cringeworthy, the main character Brigham is a self-absorbed misogynist, and while the plot is interesting, there are huge gaps in what is occurring. A lot of the best possibilities for growth and development are simply glossed over. Brigham’s fear of growing old and dying seems to make him completely oblivious to the fact that he’s pretty much a crappy person who treats his wife like shit and then seems completely unconcerned when she goes missing. He makes noises about being concerned but doesn’t make any real effort to locate her or even to convince the police that she’s really missing. Brigham’s ridiculous nature and poor attitude made it hard for me to get really involved in the book. I’m sure that there are many people who could overlook those and focus strictly on the plot to enjoy the book. I’m just not one of them. To be honest, I’m quite surprised I even managed to finish the book. I think with some polish and the advice of an editor, the book could have more potential. Until then, though, I would have a difficult time encouraging anyone to try this book. 


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