Not What It Looks Like

Fiction - Mystery - General
386 Pages
Reviewed on 07/08/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Not What It Looks Like is a work of fiction in the mystery, suspense, and interpersonal drama genres. Penned by author Douglass Quinn, this engaging caper follows CIA agent Marilyn Fischer and her basketball player husband, Greg Kerney, as this dynamic duo uncovers a nationwide cheating scandal involving Holographic Sports Bars. These venues project real-time pro basketball games, allowing fans to feel like they’re at the game and place bets. A gambling cartel exploits a loophole in the digital transmission to manipulate game outcomes. Marilyn's agency skills and Greg’s basketball knowledge combine to expose the fraud and ensure the integrity of the sport, emphasizing that in a world of seemingly realistic visions, appearances can be all the more deceiving.

Author Douglass Quinn has crafted an exciting new concept for a mystery novel, blending espionage, sports, and cutting-edge technology to brilliant effect. Marilyn Fischer's determination and expertise as a CIA agent were inspiring features for a central hero, showcasing a powerful female protagonist who is both intelligent and relentless without falling back on typical gender tropes for female leads. Her dynamic with Greg Kerney added a unique twist thanks to their relationship and his deep understanding of basketball. This is very satisfying as it provides authentic insights into the game, making the unraveling of the scandal even more compelling as readers are given plenty of convincing and interesting details. The exploration of technological manipulation in sports betting was fascinating and timely, highlighting the potential for corruption in the digital age with a brilliant description of how the holograms feel to witness and the subtle changes when something sinister is at play. The suspense of the couple’s mission to expose the cartel kept me on edge from cover to cover with a great command of pace, discovery, and high-stakes action. Overall, Not What It Looks Like has a mix of action, intelligence, and moral integrity that leaves a lasting impression, and I’d certainly recommend it to mystery fans everywhere.