The Mystery of Revenge
Tate Publishing (2013)
Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (8/13)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘The Mystery of Revenge’ by G.X. Chen on Blogcritics.
“The Mystery of Revenge” by G.X. Chen begins with the findings of a dead body, the dead body of Yi-yun Lin, a foreign student from China. With no signs of forced entry, detective Paul Winderman declares that this is indeed a murder by someone that she knows. Everyone knows that her boyfriend is the one to blame. Yi-yun’s ex-husband, Fang Chen, could never commit such a crime; he is just too sweet and gentle to ever hurt her. The story picks up the pace as detective Paul Winderman searches for clues. Flashbacks are included telling the story of Yi-yun and her quest for freedom from her home country and her need for the good ol’ American dream.
This story is a unique one for sure. I really love the way everything plays out and then the ending is something that is a shock. It was not what I had expected it to be, for sure. G.X. Chen is an excellent writer. This very talent is portrayed in her book by how Mrs. Chen puts the right amount of dialog and just the right amount of description to be able to visualize the scene as well as the characters and their point of views. At the same time, in some flashbacks, I learned a little more about some of the culture of the Chinese and their moral values.
While the story was great, I had a hard time with the proofreading. Although the author enclosed a note about a couple of edits, there is still a huge need for proofreading. For instance, this is a work of fiction and on the back of the book the genre is listed as “True Crime/General” which is a very obvious error as pointing out that the book is both true crime and general most often refers to nonfiction novels. It should read “Mystery/General” so that this suggests a fiction mystery novel or general fiction instead of true crime.
Throughout the book, there were typos where the author used the word “on” but really meant “in” and other similar proofing errors. I do take off my “editors hat” while reading for pleasure and try not to focus on little mistakes in the books. Unfortunately, this was a bit distracting for me. It did not ruin my enjoyment of this book, just took me off course a little here and there.
There isn’t anything I would change as far as content editing but some basic proofreading would make this book rise about my 3.5 star rating to a 5 star rating. With the book being petite in size and 160 pages, it is a simple, yet awesome read that is perfect for when you are pressed for time but want to read something quickly. For sure, I would recommend “The Mystery of Revenge” by G.X. Chen to lovers of mystery.