Fiction - Mystery - General
292 Pages
Reviewed on 10/06/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Connected is a work of fiction in the mystery, suspense, and crime subgenres, and was penned by author David Random. Intended for the general adult reading audience, the work follows the fascinating investigation and tricky legal process after one person in a pair of conjoined twins commits a murder, and the eyewitness is his connected sibling. What follows is a nightmare situation for prosecution and defense alike, in which justice cannot be done to one without serving injustice to the other, until a surprising turn of events blows the whole process wide open.

Author David Random has crafted a suspenseful and highly enjoyable work of crime, legal, and mystery fiction with plenty of twists, turns, and interesting character work along the way. The premise itself is unique, but what I appreciated most was the ways in which the author normalizes the central characters and never makes any element of the story seem gimmicky or freakish. There is full respect given to these separate but connected individuals, and their emotional arcs as they explore their own relationship under the pressure of the court process speaks volumes about Random’s sensitivity and intellect. The work carries a slick, big city flair that only Boston can deliver, with lines that could naturally fall from the lips of a huge TV crime series, and pacy revelations in the latter half that elevate the whole work to another level entirely. Overall, I would highly recommend Connected to readers of legal mystery dramas and fans of intense, original character work.

Viga Boland

How on earth could Gary and Maynard, joined at the abdomen, slash the throat of the psychologist who has been studying them? The physical difficulties alone of carrying that out are hard to imagine. But complicating the work of police, lawyers and the courts even further is the fact that only one twin, Gary, has confessed to the murder. The other twin, Maynard, is innocent and the only witness. So now, how do the courts decide the fates of these brothers? Should both be convicted? If so, how is it fair for Maynard to be imprisoned when he’s innocent? Or is he? Joe, the protagonist and lead investigator on this bloody crime, is stumped: with a confession, this should be an open and shut case. But something is niggling at Joe and his right-hand assistant, Cassie. Joe keeps digging. What he uncovers helps the courts reach a decision, giving readers a most satisfying and logical conclusion. What is that conclusion? Read Connected to find out!

The description supplied for Connected by David Random is all it took for me to decide this mystery was a “must-read” and days after I finished the book, I was still thinking about the ramifications of conjoined twins involved in a murder. David Random is an excellent writer. The plot of Connected is well thought out. Characters are realistic and dialogue is plentiful. There is an underlying tension throughout, relieved occasionally by hints of possible romance developing between Joe and Cassie, but that sub-plot never distracts from the gripping primary conflicts. And lastly, one cannot ignore the overall cinematic potential of Connected: what a great movie it would make. Hello Hollywood!

Jennifer Ibiam

Connected by David Random is a psychological thriller suitable for everyone. Dr. Olek Janko, of the Harvard Department of Psychology, was dead. Doctor Janko was conducting research and study on conjoined twins. The Vaughn brothers, Gary and Maynard, were his subjects. The methods applied by Dr. Janko weren’t the best, and one twin snapped and stabbed him to death. Herein, lay the problem. One of the twin boys confessed to the murder and deserved to be sentenced to jail. However, in doing that, the innocent twin will share in the sentence because they were conjoined. This unusual situation created a legal dilemma; the most problematic that Lieutenant Joe and Detective Cassie have ever worked on. Does the right to freedom of the innocent trump the right to justice for the dead? How will this complex issue be resolved?

Connected by David Random is an interesting yet complicated one. It combined legal, medical, and social issues to create this masterpiece of a novel. The plot was unusual and brilliant. I couldn’t stop reading until I turned the last page. The storyline was unpredictable and revealing. The Vaughan brothers were interesting case studies, especially Gary. Their dynamic relationship gave me an insight into human dependency, especially when there’s no choice. However, I felt like there was more to Maynard than met the eye, and I was surprised. The turn of events with Christina in the loop left me in shock. David is a gifted storyteller with the ability to pump the suspense and keep me interested. Joe and Cassie had their hands full, but could Cassie just give him a chance already? I loved every moment of this story, and David should write more.

Lucinda E Clarke

When I saw the blurb for Connected by David Random I just knew this was a book I had to read. The idea of a murder committed by conjoined twins when one confesses and both agree that the other brother is totally innocent poses a dilemma. How do you punish an innocent man because he shares a biological body with a guilty one? This is the conundrum facing the police and the legal system. Lieutenant Joe Antonelli is not your average policeman. Yes, he’s a workaholic, but he’s smartly dressed, is divorced, but does not drown his sorrows in drink. Once he is on a case, he’s like a dog with a bone and can’t let go. It’s true that Gary’s confession to killing the professor who was studying the twins should be open and shut, but Joe keeps worrying, something is not right. There are a lot of fascinating insights into twins and their connection, even if they are not conjoined.

I have to admit that David Random’s Connected had me guessing right to the end and this does not happen very often. As I turned the pages, I let life go as I sat and read this book from start to finish, and I kept wondering how they could ever resolve the case. Let a murderer go free? Punish an innocent man? There was no way out, until…but, I’m not going to add any spoilers here, you will have to read it for yourself. The pace was just right, the vocabulary great, the dialogue slick. Cassie, the young police officer who partners Joe, was a likable character and it was so refreshing to read about a crime that was solved without blood, guts, and car chases. I also learned a lot about the life of twins, something of particular interest as we have identical girls in the family. A really enjoyable book I would recommend.

Pikasho Deka

Connected is an enthralling crime drama novel written by David Random. Experienced Lieutenant Joe Antonelli finds himself handling the weirdest case of his career when Harvard Psychology Professor Dr. Olek Janka is murdered by one-half of a pair of conjoined twin brothers named Gary and Maynard Vaughn. As he delves deeper into the investigation with his partner, Detective Cassie Navarro, Joe realizes that the brothers couldn't be more different from each other. While Gary, the killer, is impulsive and prone to fits of anger, his brother Maynard seems well-read and intellectually formidable. Despite Gary's confession to the crime, it becomes a Habeas Corpus hearing as any punishment against Gary will lead to an inevitable fallback on Maynard. However, Joe's obsessive determination to discern the truth leads to an unpredictable outcome.

Connected is one of those crime drama novels where you never really feel sure about your favored outcome for the characters. Author David Random takes a unique premise, weaving an absorbing yarn that keeps you hooked throughout the pages. This is slow-burn storytelling at its finest. The narrative has a sense of authenticity and realism to it that adds layers to the story. The characters are well-realized, with distinct personalities that make them feel unique. I found the relationship between the twins and their contrasting personalities particularly compelling to read. I also enjoyed the bond between Joe and Cassie. The twists felt genuinely unpredictable. If you're into crime drama books with a healthy dose of suspense and intrigue, I highly recommend Connected.