I’ve received some very nice reviews of Murder in Ocean Hall. This murder-mystery set in DC seems to have struck a chord with appreciative readers. Here’s a selection of reviews from Amazon:
Joe Flood is a find! One can only hope that this is the beginning of a series. As others have noted, DC is a character in the book, and Flood has his detective consider the changes that the passing years have brought to the city. The inimitable Marion Barry is a character, as of course he should be. The other characters, both central and peripheral are quite rounded–and watching them evolve along with the unfolding of the mystery is a pleasure.
How could you write a book about DC and not include Marion Barry? And I’ve thought about making my book part of a series, but Murder in Ocean Hall literally contains everything I know about Washington.
Back to the reviews:
The time spent reading “Murder in Ocean Hall” is time well spent. I feel disinclined to share what the story is all about. Ostensibly it’s a murder mystery, but that doesn’t explain the half of it. Having hinted that there are numerous fish-to-fry in this story, suffice to say that the important characters are exceedingly well developed…
I tried to make my characters interesting, well-rounded people with their own stories to tell. I come from a background in literary fiction so I wanted to write a genre book that felt like a traditional novel. Which is perhaps why one Amazon reviewer called it “flowery and long-winded,” complaining that:
It was an OK read, but very descriptive in a lot of parts.
Guilty as charged! My version of Washington is the real city, not merely a flimsy backdrop for some far-fetched conspiracy tale.
More typical of the response to the book was this review:
Read this book if you think you’ve been to Washington, DC. The author will take you behind the scenes of places you’ve been and tell you how they function then give you insights into people in power and how they fail to function.
That’s a pretty good summary. Murder in Ocean Hall is about Washington beyond the monuments. In addition to an entertaining murder-mystery, the novel demonstrates how the city fails its residents – and the country at large.