Friday, September 4, 2015

Review: Smart but Dead

Smart but Dead
Nancy G. West

The description and cover of Smart but Dead by Nancy G. West suggested that this book would be a fun and humorous mystery. I didn't find that to be the case. Instead it was flat and not very engaging. Overall, I think there was too much “telling” and not enough “showing” in this story. There were things that bothered me as I read this book, for example while Aggie the main character, is supposed to be a mature student at 41, her behavior seemed more like that of a juvenile teenager. I didn't feel that there was enough character development in the first half of the story and it was a bit jarring that Aggie suddenly revealed, she had a child more than half way through the story. Personally, I would have preferred a bit more foreshadowing giving more depth to the characters at the start of the story.

It may be just a personal preference but I didn't really enjoy the style of writing in this book. To me, it seemed more corny than humorous. While the overall story about a Professor and his work on genetics is not a bad one, I think it would have benefited from a less flippant approach. The story was set in San Antonio but there seemed little in the way of description and atmosphere of that city to make it come alive in the book. Basically, the setting could have been on any campus in any city in the US since there were too few “scenes” of San Antonio.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for providing the book in exchange for an honest review.

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