19 Souls by J.D. Allen – Sin City Investigations #1

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

I don’t read private investigator thrillers very often, but I really like them. I like seeing how PI’s gather their information, and I like the unusual cases that they take on. It’s a nice break from the usual police procedural thrillers out there. I began this novel eager to see how the story would unfold.

35260163Summary (Goodreads): Private Investigator Jim Bean is a straightforward, to-the-point man. When his latest client, Sophie Evers, asks him to find her brother Daniel, Jim has no idea how complicated his life is about to become.

Daniel is not Sophie’s brother. He is her most coveted prey. Clinging to the belief that they belong together, Sophie kills Daniel’s real sister to manipulate Jim into flushing Daniel out of hiding. She will create the “perfect life” for the only man she’s ever loved, no matter how many people she must kill along the way.

When Jim discovers the truth about Sophie, he’s driven to set things right before her delusional plan claims even more souls


Review:Β This novel promises to have a manipulative villain – and it does. From the first chapter, the reader is introduced to Sophie, Jim Bean’s newest client. And boy, is she messed up! I loved that the author packed the punches from the start!

I think the author did a really great job with Sophie’s character. She was absolutely crazy and I loved reading chapters that were from Sophie’s perspective. It was the most exciting part of the book for me. I wanted to see how far Sophie would go to get what she wanted, what would be her next move. I wish there had beenΒ more of her chapters in the book because it was where the most action happened.

Jim Bean gave me a very classic noir detective vibe. He’s a man of limited words who is bitter about his past but is focused on doing a good job. He’s jaded, he’s unpredictable, and it’s all about solving the mystery. But I didn’t love him as much. I found his character to be a bit too stereotypical; there was nothing very unique about him. He talked in a very cliched manner and I found everything he mused on to be very repetitive. It took away from the action of the story and made everything move at a slower pace.

I feel like the story premise, while interesting, didn’t flow as well as it could have. There were spurts with a good amount of action that moved the story forward, but for the most part, the novel was bogged down with details that were interesting but not really necessary. I kept wanting the novel to keep moving forward, and found myself getting bored with the discoveries of the smaller details.

I also wasn’t too big of a fan of the writing. There were many choppy sentences that could have been removed or adjusted to be a part of a bigger sentence. I feel like the writing style (especially for sections featuring Jim Bean) were supposed to mimic the vibe of a classic noir story, but it was done way too often to maintain the effect. I also found it annoying that the author kept repeating the same things multiple times. Yes, readers can forget details but that doesn’t mean they need to be reminded of them excessively! And these details weren’t even important ones so I really didn’t understand the emphasis.

Overall, I think this novel was quite interesting in that it featured a very unique antagonist. However, the awkward writing style and slow plot didn’t work too well for me. I’m giving this a 2.5/5 stars (rounded to 3) and would recommend this to fans of noir novels.

Happy reading ~

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3 thoughts on “19 Souls by J.D. Allen – Sin City Investigations #1

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