Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book Review: Dangerously Innocent by Nesrine Joseph

Review of Dangerously Innocent: When Looks Really Deceive by Nesrine Joseph

Dangerously Innocent by Nesrine Joseph


Set in contemporary Sydney, two Senior Sergeant Detectives, Luther James and Rochelle Trevelyan, are tasked with solving a series of seemingly unrelated murders and capturing a violent serial killer. Under great pressure to solve the "Slasher case", the two partners seek the connection between the death of a Chinese immigrant dockworker, an out-of-work photographer, and a nondescript married pharmacist before more grisly deaths occur.  

There are no leads until the detectives come across Marissa Martin, a beautiful, self destructive witness with a shadowy past who has become another target.  

As more victims are discovered, the violence begins to seep into the Luther and Rochelle's lives.   The detectives set out to wade through the clues and prove themselves before it is too late.


I generally love detective novels, especially those in interesting locations. I was looking forward these two Australian detectives and getting a sense of the Sydney landmarks, locations and atmosphere. It may be that I'm not familiar with Australian slang, but it seemed that this aspect of the book didn't come across very well. I had hoped for some Australian slang and descriptions, but the dialogue seemed very Americanized and slightly forced. However, other aspects of the book do much to make up for the weaknesses in the detectives' banter.

The story is well paced, and I found myself reading the book on the subway. Each chapter is chockfull of action and details. Sergeant Detectives Luther James and Rochelle Trevelyan have so little to start with but through hard work, inspiration and some luck, they run down their few leads successfully. Faced with a few red herrings, considerable danger to themselves and their loved ones, the detectives prove themselves.  

The plot is intricate and carefully executed. The characters come across well and are likable - I found myself rooting for them. I had first thought that the book seemed short with only 147 pages, but I found each chapter quite satisfying and overall, the book carefully written.  

Overall, it was a good first book by Australian author Nesrine Joseph. I look forward to reading her next book.

Format and cover:

The typeset is large and very easy to read. The layout can be improved. There was little spacing to reflect a change of narrative or location.  

The cover has a large tiger's eye but the story has no link to tigers or animals. Nor is a tiger deceptively innocent.

Rating: 2.95 out of 5
Release date: September 2007
Publisher:  Bookpal
Pages: 147

The book was received courtesy of Bostick Communications.   Thank you to Bostick Communications and author Nesrine Joseph for the opportunity to review the book.

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