Saturday, February 24, 2007

Mystery Book Review: Snowman by Dave Saari

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of Snowman by Dave Saari. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Snowman by Dave Saari

Snowman by Dave Saari
A Matt Davidson Mystery (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1-4303-0563-0 (1430305630)
ISBN-13: 978-1-4303-0563-7 (9781430305637)
Publication Date: January 2007
List Price: $17.46

Synopsis (from the publisher): Matt Davidson, an underachieving golf bum and a somewhat nerdy engineer, inadvertently witnesses a shocking scene while playing golf, which launches him on an adventure that proves to be an emotional roller coaster ride. Though unsure what to do or how to do it, he drops everything to help a stunningly beautiful woman he's never even met. His clumsy efforts soon entangle him in a web of sex, fraud, and abuse that could end up costing him his life.

Review: Dave Saari crafts a story around "an improbable series of eerie coincidences" in Snowman, a murder mystery featuring golfer and sometime businessman Matt Davidson.

The series of events begins on the golf course one afternoon when, while chasing after an errant shot that has landed in the yard of a private home, Matt beholds a most beautiful woman. Not just any woman, but an angel, a goddess, an enchantress. He becomes obsessed with this woman, and in an effort to meet her, to know her, and to be with her, he embarks on a journey of improbable coincidences that will not only jeopardize his career but also his life.

Many readers will likely roll their eyes and immediately identify Matt with Dudley Moore and the mysterious woman with Bo Derek and think Snowman is simply a knock-off of the movie "10". And to be fair, the first third of the book reads like the movie, substituting the beach and the Mexican Riviera for golf courses and Minnesota. Not exactly a captivating exchange.

But then the story gets interesting, and a plot develops that is far better than the opening chapters may initially suggest. An accidental death that may not be what it seems, a complicated property development deal, and connections to a Chicago organization, all make for a rather engrossing mystery. There are some thoughtful plot twists, and Matt's bravado towards the end is a refreshing extension of his character.

Saari writes in a perfunctory, mechanical style that is somewhat incompatible with the character relating his story. Setting the story in Minnesota with its perceived (and no doubt unwarranted) lack of comfort and warmth doesn't help. And the last couple of chapters are far too trite. But as a first effort, and especially as a self-published endeavor without professional assistance, Snowman is an admirable achievement.

Special thanks to Dave Saari for providing a copy of Snowman for this review. Click here to purchase Snowman directly from the author at a special discounted price.

Review Copyright © 2007 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

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