Author: Don Broma
*Novella provided by the author for a honest review
When a rich old man is brutally murdered, detective Richard Dashiell loses all patience for protocol. Rookie inspector Natalia Helenas, assigned to the same case, finds herself caught between respect for her partner and respect for the rules. As the investigation leads them from the immaculate halls of a cutting-edge medical business, to the seedy chambers of a twisted sex club, Helenas and Dashiell learn that sometimes not even the dead get to rest in peace.
The ElectroLive Murders by Don Broma is a futuristic noir romance that was wonderfully intriguing, highly developed with a great horrific twist. Nicely written with a great tone and word that is a Frankenstein-like mix of various genres, this was a fun hard boiled detective mystery that I really enjoyed reading.
The world building, considering the length of the novella, was actually really well done bringing to life a world that was advanced without being too far fetched from the world that we know. With bits of science fiction and horror thrown in to an atmosphere that felt as it were straight out of a Dashiell Hammett noir novel, this was an eclectic and original mix that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
The characters, while being only two dimensional (something that pretty much always goes without saying in shorts and novellas for obvious reasons) were interesting with great voices and conflicting personalities. Dashiell is a hard boiled detective who has no problems getting his hands dirty and stepping outside of the law to solve a case is paired with Natalia Helenas, a fresh recruit eager to work with a living legend. But, while a bit green behind the ears, she is willing to toe the line with Dashiell in order to get their man. They had a decent 'partner' camaraderie that came across nicely.
The story itself was nicely developed with some good twists and turns that managed to keep the balance between science fiction, horror and mystery nicely. Well written, this novella had a great flow that perfectly captured the tone of the Gothic noir novel, something that I found myself r highly impressed by, especially since this story wrapped up so quickly. It seems like there should have been something missing or lacking and I kept waiting for the other shoe to fall, as it were, for the chink in the armor. But, by the end the short tale was wrapped up rather nicely.
In the end, I was quite impressed by this short tale and really enjoyed the quick read. If you love a story that has a bit of everything, then this story is for you. The perfect quick read that is entertaining and at the same time has some nicely executed twists and turns. It definitely wasn't what I had expected, and was all the better for it!