Deadly Passion – Joe Congel

1 July 2019
Deadly Passion Book Cover Deadly Passion
Joe Congel
Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
May 23, 2018

Two women dead: One a twenty-year-old cold case, the other brutally fresh. PI Tony Razzolito pieces together long forgotten clues as he tries to solve the twenty-year-old murder of a young high school grad, that is somehow linked to a recent brutal killing. But as he works through the list of suspects, he finds himself battling the seasoned homicide detective who couldn't solve the murder the first time around. Can the two forge a partnership long enough to solve both murders, or will their egos prevent a killer from being caught?

Welcome back everyone, Today, for our review back, is a book that I found a pleasure to read. Joe Congel asked me to read this, and I appreciate his patience as well. Honestly and with all warmth in my heart, this is the perfect book to start back with, because the themes were familiar and comforting to me. Mystery novels are books that I happen to enjoy so very much.

Let’s go into my first impressions. I started this book before my break and then had it shelved for a bit. I picked it back up fresh and started over so that I could have a more accurate read for the review. As I mentioned earlier, I am reviewing a mystery novel, the second in the series for our main character, Tony Razzolito. No spoilers here, I did not read the first novel, but I was happy to find that I didn’t have to read it to understand what was going on in the book. The setup read very well, the hook was gripping, and I truly enjoyed how well the story fell into place. So for my first impression, I was very impressed.

Let’s go into some critiques here. My only real critique is in my “Story Structure, Foundation, and Presentation” category. Specifically, there is a bit of a pacing issue. The tension is terrific, and I will get into that more in a minute with my positives; however, there are parts of the story that tend to drag a tad. For me, I find that most mysteries pace depending on the clues. As the reader gathers the clues in exposition, it helps form a momentum that drives the desire to and figure out “who done it.” Sometimes during “Deadly Passion,” I found that the pacing slowed during the parts of exposition when setting up those clues, and immediately after because some vital things happen during more mundane sequences. That isn’t to say every clue has this pacing issue; it is to say that it occurs in the more mundane parts. The issue is that when they come in the normal character exposition parts, it can be a tad distracting. The development and dialogue sequences are outstanding, but some of the food scenes had me hungry and nostalgic, and I ended up missing the clues for those parts, and I had to go back to pick them up again.

That said, let’s go into the parts of “Deadly Passion” that I truly loved. First, this is a “Whole Story” as per my category, and I appreciate it. Sometimes with mysteries, especially in series, we have some weird cliffhangers that do not finalize all of the plot lines. For “Deadly Passion,” the narrative has a complete beginning, middle, and ending. The mystery plotline moves correctly for a mystery story. This isn’t a sub-genre mystery in my opinions such as a Romance Mystery, or a Horror Mystery either, and thus the whole story aspects were met entirely.

Second under “Story Structure, Foundation, and Presentation,” there are many positives. Tension, as I mentioned, is beautiful. There are many pieces where someone might think something is wrong, and it turns the plot, which is perfect for a mystery. As far as presentation goes, this was easy to read, it had good margins on default with kindle, and it had excellent grammar and spelling. Next, the foundation work of the mystery and the real clues themselves were done very well. This is the kind of story where you think you know what might be going on, but you find out later that was a red herring, and I wasn’t upset with those sorts of situations at all. Overall the structure, foundation, and presentation was in fantastic shape and gave the story much depth.

Now into the “Cliche Much” and “Lost in Translation” categories, I’m happy to say I found nothing negative. I neither had to stop to research the subject matter to verify if it was accurate nor did I feel there were cliche and “of course this happened” lack of unique ideas to use in a story, or tired and dried concept in the narrative. I found the characters, story ideas, clue ideas, and story to be unique. Additionally, I found the accents that were used were lovely, and I especially found the overall story and subplots to be fun.

My final thoughts on “Deadly Passion” comes in a bit of a spoiler, so if you don’t want that sort of thing, skip this paragraph and go to scoring. I found the plot line to be a cautionary tale. Whenever you are trying to do better for yourself, remember that there are people around you. People do not like to be stepped on; people do not want to have their feelings hurt, and sometimes those that you think you are ‘letting go because it’s better for them’ may have other thoughts on the subject. So my final thoughts here, be excellent to one another. Don’t do something that will hurt later, emotionally, or physically. It’s not right for you, and it is not suitable for that person either. I truly felt that the whole crux of the story would never have transpired if the first victim had just taken that advice on their way to pursue their dreams.

And that’s it for the review! Now for scoring.

With my math taken into consideration, “Deadly Passion: A Tony Razzolito PI Story” Has earned a beautiful 92/100 and is a five-star review on Goodreads and

Thank you again so much for reading this, and if you like what you read, feel free to comment and let me know! Until next time!

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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