He hated her. [ excerpt from The Killing of Mindi Quintana]
The Killing of Mindi Quintana by Jeffrey A. Cohen
Welcome Rain Publisher, 2010
Crime Fiction; 256 pgs
Not everyone likes to read the synopsis of a book before reading the book; you know, the one that falls on the back cover or inside flap of a book. I am not among those. I often base my decision to read a book on the synopsis, determining whether it sounds like something I might be interested in reading or not. Favorite authors, of course, are an exception sometimes. Occasionally I read a synopsis and it turns out to be misleading, but that isn't often. I can only remember one occasion when the synopsis on the inside flap of the cover gave too much away. The reason I bring this up now is because I am undecided about the synopsis provided for The Killing of Mindi Quintana. It isn't misleading, not really, but it does border on giving too much away. And yet, I can also see why offering so much of the plot to perspective readers might be necessary too.
As a result, I am having a difficult time settling on how to summarize this book without spoiling anything. It is about a man, Freddy Builder, the manager of the China department at a department store. His life is rather dull, or so he believes. He dreams of being a writer and being famous. He is just biding his time, making spectacular China displays until opportunity comes knocking at his door. The novel is also about a young beautiful woman, Mindi Quintana, with a big heart and gentle manner who is editor for a literary magazine and once dated Freddy. Freddy's world changes when she walks back into his life. There is Mindi's best friend, the painter, and a defense attorney whose just going through the motions of life, feeling numb. And there is an ambitious prosecutor and a corporate manager who is a bit full of himself. They all are set on a collision course the day Mindi and Freddy meet again. Then there is a murder.
The Killing of Mindi Quintana is an experience all of its own. It is not your usual crime fiction novel. Author Jeffrey A. Cohen's characters seem more like caricatures than fully realized people (except perhaps defense attorney Philip), which, I believe, is the effect he was aiming for. The story itself was satirical. And it worked.
The novel takes a hard look at the notoriety and sensationalism of our society's criminals and their crimes, about how the justice system plays into that and where the victims stand as a result. Freddy seems like your every day sort of man. Stuck in a job he doesn't like, dreaming of bigger things, a man in love, a man done wrong. Freddy, however, is not quite what he seems. He is the epitome of a psychopath.
I liked the way the author wove art into his novel: Freddy's China displays, Mindi's appreciation of words and Lisa's paintings. It seemed a fitting juxtaposition to the crime itself, or, rather, more directly to the aftermath. It also tied into the abstract feel of the novel.
I enjoyed the book overall, finding it both entertaining and thought provoking, and I appreciate what the author set out to accomplish. However, at times I was not completely satisfied with the approach. I think that was more a me issue than the author's. I found the ending quite satisfying and fitting with the rest of the tale. It wasn't an ending I expected, and yet I can't see it ending any other way.
You can learn more about Jeffrey A. Cohen and his book on the author's website. Be sure and check the TLC Book Tours website as well.
Many thanks to the TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to be a part of this book tour. Book for review provided by the author.
Be sure and stop by the other Tour Stops for The Killing of Mindi Quintana:
- Monday, May 3rd: Jen’s Book Thoughts
- Tuesday, May 4th: Life of a Busy Wife
- Wednesday, May 5th: Rundpinne
- Monday, May 10th: Rough Edges
- Wednesday, May 12th: Luxury Reading
- Thursday, May 13th: Novel Whore
- Friday, May 14th: Beth Fish Reads
- Monday, May 17th: Book Dilettante
- Tuesday, May 18th: My Two Blessings
- Wednesday, May 19th: Dan’s Journal
- Thursday, May 20th: The Book Faery Reviews
- Monday, May 24th: Starting Fresh
- Wednesday, May 26th: Book Junkie
- Monday, June 7th: The Betty and Boo Chronicles
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