Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Review: Quick: A Hunter Kincaid Mystery by Bill Kring

Border Patrol Agent Hunter Kincaid saw the murder happen, but was powerless to prevent it. From a half mile away from where she stood on the side of Devil’s Ridge watching through binoculars, she saw the big man shoot the Mexican in the head. She had no idea who the guy was, but he was clearly huge. She and three other agents had chased the pair all day until “the giant” had solved the problem by killing his companion.

After the shooting in Presidio County of the Big Bend region of deep Southwest Texas, the man easily escaped back across the border. Dressed in his military camo outfit he had stared back at her as he stood over the man he had just killed and then left at an easy jog secure in the knowledge she and her people could not stop him. Not only did they lose the guides as he left and his fellow guide was dead, they never found the forty illegals that came across the river with the guides.

Hundreds of miles away in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Homicide Detective John Quick and his partner, Randall Ishtee have their own very difficult case. The body of a woman was dumped in a drainage canal. She was stabbed with something like a machete or a large knife somewhere else and then transported to this location to be dumped. With the way the body is in the drainage canal, it would take somebody big and strong to do it. Possibly the person who left size fourteen, if not bigger, shoeprints at the scene.

Gradually the two storylines merge as Quck: A Hunter Kincaid Mystery shifts back and forth between various members of law enforcement and the criminals involved in the cases. Despite the fact this is billed as A Hunter Kincaid Mystery, the majority of the read is with Detective John Quick and numerous other characters. Much of the story slows down dramatically to fill in the backstory of John Quick who, like Hunter, has been deeply traumatized by the past and his previous actions.

That trauma involves the brutal and graphic torture murders of his family. Both his wife and baby son were killed. Unfortunately, that is not the only brutality vividly described in the read. The adult language as well as detailed and graphic descriptions of violence, including the removal of a baby’s genitals, will be an issue for more than some readers. Much of these very graphic descriptions do little, if anything, to advance the story line and are present for the sole reason of shocking the reader.

While not as severe a problem in the read, Quick: A Hunter Kincaid Mystery contains a number of typos, incorrect word choice usage, missing quotation marks, and other grammar and formatting issues. While they did not affect the understanding of the storylines, they were distracting from the read.

Though there is a good core story to Quick: A Hunter Kincaid Mystery by Bill Kring, the typos and other grammar issues, as well as the descriptive torture scenes definitely negatively impact the book. So too does the fact that, despite its title, the vast majority of the read is not with the signature character Hunter Kincaid. In fact, it appears to this reader that Hunter is present in approximately a third, if not less, of the book.

While the basic storylines had significant potential, in the end, the read was significantly harmed by too much filler, a number of graphic torture descriptions that serve no point to advance the story, and the need for editing in terms of typos, incorrect word choice, missing quotation marks, etc. The book would benefit from proofreading to correct the grammar issues as author understanding that not everything somebody does to somebody else has to be described. It is also not at all necessary to describe every single item in every single room of a home though that is far preferable to detailing everything with regards to torture and mutilation scenes.

Having previously read The Devil’s Footprints: A Hunter Kincaid Short Story I am well aware that the author can do much better than this effort. While I do recommend that very entertaining short story, I do not recommend Quick: A Hunter Kincaid Mystery for the reasons noted in this review.

Quick: A Hunter Kincaid Mystery
Bill Kring
January 2014
eBook (paperback available)
265 Pages

According to Amazon, I picked this up back in June of 2015. I have no idea now if this was by way of a free read promotion, funds in my Amazon Associate account, or some other means.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2017

No comments: