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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.1 out of 5
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All Book Reviews

  • Great Thriller

    Pancake Money by Finn Bell centers on Bobby and Pollo, detectives attempting to solve the savage murder of a priest. Over the course of a few days more grizzly deaths occur, and the detectives face what seems to be an unsolvable case. Pancake Money is highly engaging. Where the story succeeds most for me is when it focuses on the detective's relationships and deductive processes. Worth noting, the entire book takes place in New Zealand. I have never visited New Zealand and was glad to realize this was not a problem. The author delivers the necessary descriptors to paint the background picture with clarity. The story begins with a gruesome murder as seen through the eyes of the executioner. The scene's perspective seems more about the intimacy of the act then the brutality of it. Despite being brief, this scene is an effective way to set the mood. It consumed me with dread and sadness, although I am still unsure if the sorrow was for the victim, the killer, or both. I experienced a full spectrum of emotion reading this book, and I loved it. The methodology the characters use to identify the perpetrator is fascinating. Bobby is attending a forensic psychology class throughout the plot. These lectures further foreshadow with topics such as pain motivating individuals to fulfill any task. Throughout this investigation, the detectives examine the reasons that drive a murderer. Bobby and Pollo discuss which would apply to the killer and why the crimes represent one motivation over the other. Gaining knowledge in the context of the novel made me a part of the examination. I received insights along with the characters by understanding how they were drawing their conclusions. It is clear from the beginning Bobby and Pollo are close. They respect each other, keep each other safe, spend time with one another's family, and have meaningful interactions. The relevance of the title, Pancake Money, comes from a poignant tale Pollo discloses to Bobby towards the beginning of the story. Believably in this relationship is a motivational key in the third act. It was necessary to connect them as a family, and I did not doubt this fact at any time. Being fond of a decent mystery novel I frequently read from this genere. Going in, I hold onto the hope that the book's resolution is not glaringly evident. The big question here is, did I figure out the end before the reveal? The answer is an emphatic no, and for me, that is a huge deal. I consistently try to anticipate the resolution in anything I read. In Pancake Money, the full story was not entirely evident until the crime solver dictated the clues, and solution, at the end. I was then able to pinpoint the evidence referred to and found it entirely believable. It was quite a ride getting there. I would highly recommend Pancake Money to anyone who enjoys a great murder mystery.

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    2 person found this review helpful

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  • Philosophical Thriller

    The setting of New Zealand was attractive and the plot was clever. The ideas presented really brought up questions that are common to all. Glad I read it.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • One of the best authors I've read!

    If you thought that the excellence of Finn Bell’s debut novel The Killing Ground (originally Dead Lemons) was a fluke, you would be wrong. He does it again in One Last Kill (originally titled Pancake Money). I hesitate to say One Last Kill is better than The Killing Ground, because there was absolutely nothing wrong with Bell’s first book. And it continues. There is just something about his writing that grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go until the end of the story. The surrounding and atmosphere and events and people are unfamiliar, strange, exciting, often dangerous, but described so fully that you feel you are there, that you know them, and you can’t walk away. The pace is unrelenting. What happens may well make you cringe but the plot moves so smoothly, the characters are so well-developed and compelling and the unknown looms so large that you have to keep reading. In One Last Kill, Bobby Ress is just a man with a family, a job as a cop with a great partner, who thinks he’s making a difference; just a regular guy settled into a regular life. But then things start to go sideways and Bobby learns about people and thinks and does things he never even thought about before. I don’t like spoilers, and to try to write a detailed review would surely spoil your reading experience. Just find Finn Bell’s books and read them, all of them, now. His books are entertaining and thought-provoking and will stay with you and make you think long after you’ve finished. He is an author I hope keeps writing and writing and writing so I can keep reading and reading and reading. Note author Finn Bell provided a copy of One Last Kill for my honest review.

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  • One last kill.

    Excellant story. Keeps the reader guessing until the end. A new author whose books I will definitely be reading.

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  • A Story with a Good Pace

    The story kept me interested, and on many occasions, on the edge of my seat. The end left me in the air, but it’s a good read.

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