Bolero introduces Nick Sayler, the private investigator who lives aboard a Hudson River barge with a brilliant savant, a retired psychiatrist, and a stunning Creole girl. But Sayler’s haunted by memories of the woman who took a bullet meant for him, so his good life is belied by a bad drinking habit.
Then an emergency room doctor’s desperate call about a ballerina with no memory and nothing on her except his card, changes everything. If he can dip into his notorious past to uncover the secret that will save the dancer, maybe he can finally save himself.
"Joanie McDonell’s Bolero is an auspicious debut - sophisticated, stylish, and sexy. We shall be hearing a lot more about Nick Sayler, a disenchanted hero in the classic mode." (Benjamin Black, author of Christine Falls)
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Good Idea, but cliched with excessive exposition
The cliched gathering of comrades for the main character, the rich doctor/mentor, the savant/researcher, the buddy/detective along with the private investigator with a sordid past were one of the weakest aspects of this story. Additionally, far too much time was spent bemoaning the main characters sad lost love. The weakest point of all is the lack of momentum. Since almost all the action occurs either in the past or "off-page" there is no excitement, no tension, no need to keep reading/listening because it doesn't feel like the story is trying to go somewhere.
As editor, I would delete all of the flash-back chapters about the main character's old girlfriend as well as almost all the long, tiresome paragraphs of her throughout the book. They merely slow down the pace of the story and are so cliched that they don't contribute anything towards making Nick a unique or interesting protagonist.
The performer did a good job of different voices
- Kristin Olson-garewal