Top critical review
Catch Me fails to deliver
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 6, 2018
The premise was interesting, a sort of twist on the _film noir_ DOA (1949 or 1988, take your pick). I picked this one out of my BookBub recommendations, so at least it only cost me $1.99 However, from about 25% on, it was just a rough slog to the finish, hoping that things would improve while being bitterly disappointed as each page ticked past. I do enjoy the police procedural genre, and so while there are some gruesome details and rough language, there is nothing that I found inappropriate for the genre.
I realize that "head-hopping" is a bit of a current fad. In this case, however, it was rather poorly executed. At each changing of the narrator, I found myself jarred out of my immersion in the story. Rather than somehow knitting together a single story, it became a multi-focal sprawl rather than a taut tale hinging on whether the murder would be thwarted or not. There's the random chapters consisting of a few lines that really added nothing to the story (except annoyance for this reader). I wasn't sure if I was bounced to yet another narrator's head, or reading a text message received by a character or a voice mail or a note blowing in the wind.
Verbosity, as mentioned in some of the other reviews, is definitely another killer of the story. At times, it seemed as though Wikipedia had vomited info-dumps all over the page. Readers are treated to acronym, laborious spelling out, and then acronym again. For example: "Information came in on my ANI ALI screen--ANI standing for Automatic Number Identification, ALI for Automatic Local Identification. ... In addition to my ANI ALI monitor..." Or a seasoned detective is sitting in slack-jawed awe of the information provided by an improbably young detective providing information on pedophile behavior that isn't uncommon knowledge even for people who *don't* work in law enforcement. In several places, it seemed as though I had accidentally picked up a first draft, not a finished product.
Then there were glaring moments in which, as a reader, I jolted out of the story because the information presented doesn't match what I know--the gun pricing issue just jolted me. While a .22 may have less expensive ammunition than higher calibers, $2000 is by no means a standard price for a Glock pistol (although I did find out that such a thing does exist, but most people interested in self-defense will be happy with a G42 if the Glock name is desired, and there are plenty of other handguns in the $200-400 range without getting into the low-quality Saturday Night Special variety). After a "record needle scratch" moment like that, it becomes hard to get immersed again. Of course, if that was intended as a clever attempt at pointing to "unreliable narrator", that didn't really work because one was left wondering "is this narrator unreliable, or did the author just not do a very good job of researching guns?"
I was relieved to reach the end of the book.