Storyline: Time In A Bottle written by Christopher M. Divver is not about genies, but it is pretty darned good as far as murder mysteries go. Mr. Divver’s story has all of the elements of a great crime mystery that goes all the way up to Washington D.C.!
Mark has fallen off the wagon again. Only this time, his girlfriend isn’t there to pull him out of the dark vat of that toxic drink again because it’s her sudden death that is the reason for his relapse. Only, Monica’s tragic death isn’t as simple as it first appears to be.
Her power-hungry half sister, Audra, comes back to town to help with the arrangements and with her arrival comes the resurgence of a terrible and haunting past that, even in death, Monica cannot escape from.
Grammar/Spelling: The Comma Queen strikes again! I noticed a deficiency of that little squiggle and think that another grammar check with Microsoft Word would fix these issues. I also noticed a few instances where the incorrect version of a word was used; for example: “shear” vs. “sheer”. Not a huge issue and one that’s easily fixed with another beta read.
Character Development: Mr. Divver’s characters are very well developed and Mark, in particular, has a depth to him that was surprising and wonderful.
At first it appears that Mark is just a self-pitying alcoholic without any real substance. Other than his incessant need for a drink or twelve, he has nothing to offer anyone or anything. But, as the story develops, the reader is able to truly see Mark for the man that he is and understand how his life has to come to the point that it has.
Even though we never truly meet Monica, per se, she is a prominent character throughout the story. Through a series of flashbacks, Monica is painted as scrappy, good-hearted woman who loved Mark and guided him back into the world of sobriety.
Writing Style: I was concerned that the entire novel would be a very dark, depressing drama about one man’s fight with the bottle. Though, as I kept reading, it became apparent that the alcoholism isn’t what the book was focused on, it was more about a man’s will to solve the mystery of his beloved’s death and do it while trying to overcome his addiction.
Time In A Bottle has enough detail to make it very believable and entertaining (even educational – I didn’t know you could pick a lock by “bumping” it!) without bogging the reader down with too many details! Fabuloso!
I loved the descriptions of Washington D.C. and, even though I’ve never been there, it seemed as if I was right there at the monuments with Mike, Audra’s boss and Frank, his best friend. I suppose one day I’ll actually go and take in the sights myself… Until then, I’ll just have to live vicariously through the eyes of my darling Indie Authors!
Continuity: No issues with continuity. Everybody’s shirts stayed their proper colors and nobody drove away in a Mercedes only to arrive four blocks away in a helicopter.
Overall Rating: 4
Mr. Divver’s Time In A Bottle didn’t disappoint. (Even if there weren’t any genies or wishes granted.) As far as crime novels goes, this is a well written, interesting story with plenty of suspense and mystery to keep the reader engaged the entire time. Great job, Christopher!
I look forward to more books and hope you’ll allow me the pleasure of reviewing those as well! It definitely has the makings of a great movie too! (I never know if that’s a compliment or not…)
There are some adult situations and language, so this book isn’t for younger readers.