Monday, July 11, 2011


By Weyman Jones

Katherine Lyons, the owner of a professional meeting planning company is convicted of killing her younger lover. Her son, Michael, is convinced she’s innocent, chalking up the killing (and a couple others) to someone involved an animal rights organization that is protesting a drug company client of Lyons’. During his investigation, Michael encounter his father who he hasn’t seen in years, a detective convinced the case is closed and several associates connected with the dead man who are unwilling to divulge too much information lest secrets be revealed.

It’s an interesting plot, if you can grasp some of the connections. For instance, the killer is knocking off indirect links to the pharmaceutical company, not the company executives themselves. Then add in a case of shady investments and a Caribbean island narcotics haven and you have a web of entanglements to move through.

Mike Lyons – Chief Operating Officer of his mother’s company. 24, but acts and thinks as if he’s older.

Katherine Lyons – Mike’s mother. She is described as a ‘controlling’ person but controlling through warmth and caring. However, in her one major scene, she doesn’t come across as ‘power woman.’

Bart Lyons – Mike’s father. Runs security for the pharmaceutical company. Militaristic. Vietnam vet.

Detective Marks – Homicide detective

Charlotte – Is the third person in Lyons’ company. Girlfriend of Mike’s until the trial.

I had problems not totally believing the characters. None of them acted true. The killer seemed too nonchalant. The detective (I think his first name is Justin but you don’t really know because it’s never mentioned except in one phone conversation where he could be lying) doesn’t act like a typical homicide investigator. As I mentioned, Katherine doesn’t seem like a company executive. She rambles a lot. Bart seems the most realistic except near the end when his character’s foundation becomes a little shaky. It’s not that these are surface characters, although that’s part of the issue, but it’s as if you have a person who is just half out of phase with him- or herself. Nobody seems to act like they should in a given situation, but are just a little bit off.

Forced. The cynicism, the profanity, the wit, the emotions exhibited in conversations, all seem to be a struggle or, similarly to above, off for the characters with whatever they’re involved.

Detailed with lots of extraneous information. There is a lot of description, almost too much in many chapters. Jones constantly interrupts his actions scenes with various descriptions which are somewhat distracting. I wasn’t sure what type of story it really wanted to be. It starts near the end of a court room trial, then moves along to some personal stuff with the detective, then bits here and there with Lyons sticking his nose into the case. Marks finally does a little investigating. A disjointed time period on the Caribbean island and a strange hostage situation lasting a little too long.

My ranking:

Yellow Belt


  1. I think forced dialogue is a difficulty for a lot of fiction writers. I have seen it recently and it's laborious waters through which to wade.

    -Steve King

  2. I sometimes have problems making conversations flow in my writing. It is sometimes difficult to keep dialogue smooth yet not wander off into areas not relevant to the story that doesn't move the story on a logical course.