Sunday, August 30, 2015

Review of Organized Grime by Christy Barritt

Organized Grime is book three in Christy Barritt's Squeaky Clean Mysteries.

Back cover copy: 
Gabby St. Claire knows how to clean up scum. She can get blood out of carpet, pick shattered bones from plaster, and clean up other less-than-enticing fluids from nearly any surface. St. Claire also knows how to clean up another kind of scum— the scum of the earth. 

Crime scene cleaner and wannabe forensic investigator Gabby St. Claire knows her best friend, Sierra, isn’t guilty of killing three people in what appears to be an ecoterrorist attack. But Sierra has disappeared, her only contact a frantic phone call. 

Crime scene evidence Gabby discovers while cleaning ties seemingly random murders together—and points to Sierra as the guilty party. Just what has her animal-loving friend gotten herself into? 

If that’s not disturbing enough, who’s the person following Gabby? A federal agent who hopes Gabby will lead him to Sierra? Or someone with more sinister plans? 

To find Sierra and prove her innocence, Gabby will have to rely on all of her training and abilities, plus the help of a man she loves and the protection of a God she’s only recently begun to believe in. 

When, Gabby St. Claire's best friend,  Sierra Nakamura disappears and is implicated in ecoterrorism that resulted in multiple deaths, the crime scene cleaner is determined to clear her friend's name. No matter the cost.

A stalker follows her and crime scenes reveal evidence tying them to Sierra increasing the danger to Gabby's life as she continues to search for the truth.

While investigating the circumstances surrounding Sierra's disappearance, Gabby must also deal with her alcoholic father, an ex-boyfriend cop with a pregnant girlfriend, and her handsome neighbor, Riley Thomas.

Riley struggles to keep Gabby safe even to the extent of accompanying her to crime scenes. Gabby can't deny her growing feelings for Riley with him ever-present even though she knows their backgrounds are far too different for a relationship to work.

Organized Grime is a clean read with well-developed characters and an intriguing storyline. However, there were a few issues.

When the FBI has evidence that Sierra was involved in the terror attack, they don't obtain a search warrant and go through her apartment. I found this to be a little unrealistic. Then, Gabby, who is studying to be a forensic tech, sneaks into her friend's apartment, finds evidence that points toward Sierra and conceals it for a time.

The book had a few typos, but I've not read many that don't.

Also, I counted a form of "gaze" over fifty times. Sometimes the word was used multiple times on a single page. This is a trend I've noticed in Christian fiction as I've read books for contests and for pleasure, but it's a very distracting trend. When a word is repeated over and over, it throws me out of the book. The writer could have used any number of words to convey the same concept.

Here are just a few of the times that "gaze" dumped me right out of the story:

“His gaze began roaming again.”
“…his gaze flicked behind me to the kitchen…”
“His gaze ran up and down the length of me.”

“His gaze searched mine…”

I give Organized Grime three stars for the pacing, characters, and storyline. Had the author found other ways to communicate they were looking somewhere or at each other, I would have given the story four stars.

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