The Blurb (from Goodreads): Murder, is that your final answer? High school senior Jason Greevey seems to think so. When winning contestants from a local restaurant's trivia contest begin turning up dead, runner-up Jason worries that he will be the next weakest link!
Now, I'm not one to look down on self-published novels. In fact, I've read my fair share (by Michelle Davidson Argyle, Allen Russell, Carol Riggs, among others). They generally have to be judged within their own category, and not in comparison with books edited by agents and publishers who rip books to pieces (for the betterment of the book, of course) for a living.
And, yes, I checked. This book was published by DPL Books in VA. I found their blog, and their listing on a self-publishing consortium. Honestly, I didn't even find a company website. Beyond those, it was mostly links for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I find this odd.
But I digress...
Unfortunately for L. K. Ellwood, all those other self-pub'ed books left this one in the dust. Overwrought with typos and factual errors, this book floundered on its way to finding the end-game--which I had difficulty believing. I found myself skimming way too often as I had to read random bits of backstory about minor characters who hardly play a role (e.g., I don't need to know that Mrs. Rice somehow managed to run all of the volunteer committees at church while raising 5 kids when she only appears in a phone call and the final scene of the book). What this story needed was a good editor, and I don't necessarily mean from the publishing house. The author needed a solid, tooth-and-nails critique partner or set of critique partners who weren't afraid to rip the story apart. It's really too bad that this author didn't have have one (or several) to point out that, for example, a morning newspaper goes to press well after the 11pm news, or that a person who has designated herself as an organ donor would not have anything taken from her if she died from an allergic reaction to drugs administered in the hospital.These are only a couple of several examples of factual errors, not to mention the list of typos and awkward turns of phrase that appeared on almost every page.
Oh, and did I mention the constant head-jumping? At one point, the POV changed so frequently between father and son that I no longer knew who the "he" was. Even mid paragraph the shift in POV would occur. Extremely disconcerting.
The bottom line: Don't bother unless you're sending a heavy list of edits to the author. And since the pub date is from 2002, I doubt she wants to see any.
By the way, I'm not only planning on complaining. Stop back on Saturday for some of my thoughts on the temptations involved in self-publishing.