Being Someone Else

Fiction - Mystery - General
308 Pages
Reviewed on 06/23/2011
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite

In Being Someone Else, J.R. Lindermuth has former Police Chief Dan "Sticks" Hendricks returning to help the Swatara Creek Police Department solve the mystery of a murdered out-of-state news reporter. No one knows why the reporter is in the sleazy bar in which he is shot. No one knows why the reporter would even be interested in the town or any of its residents.

Officer Flora Vastine is Sticks' protege and the two are joined by Flora's police boyfriend and Sticks' old friend from his State Police days in uncovering clues which appear disjointed and disorganized. Together, they find bits and pieces of the puzzle which resists being put together until nearly the final chapter of the book. All of the clues appear to point to a wealthy family who has a lengthy reputation in the town. But the clues have many twists and turns, and the author keeps the reader in suspense, thinking of one suspect after another.

Lindermuth's writing strength is his development of charming, cantankerous and likeable characters. The reader gets to know the characters up close and personal. As a result, the reader becomes invested in helping the police (mentally) to tie clues together and sustain the motivation to keep searching until the mystery is solved. There are no superfluous characters. Each and every subject in Lindermuth's novel is there for a reason, but the author leaves it to the skills of the reader to string together relevant clues and to point toward a suspect who may or may not be the killer. All in all, this is a good read.