Deadly Messengers, by Susan May

12 Sep
FOUR of FIVE stars

FOUR of FIVE stars

The author kindly gave me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review, so that’s what I’m going to do.

PROS: I really, really enjoyed this book. It’s fast paced, exciting, has great characters, is an easy beach read, it’s scary, it provides ideas to think about and research on the internet, and it has a very strong main female character. These are all huge pluses. It was never quite up to 5 star level for a crime thriller, but it is a solid 4 star. Solid 5 star as an easy beach read. I’ll most definitely be reading more of her books because there was only one thing I really didn’t like about this one, which is…

CON: I have big issues with the vilification of antidepressants as a main theme of the story. Some of the information presented is correct, some of it is exaggerated, and enough of it is wrong that it was just difficult to believe in the story. I decided to accept that the crazy bad guy could twist things in his head to believe what he did, but I wasn’t happy to see that the end focused on continuing this exaggeration. The author has a note at the end explaining that the work is fiction, and she really goes into the correct assertion that sometimes these side effects happen to some people. But it is kind of implied in the story that antidepressants are making everyone who takes them into a violent person which just isn’t true. I’m sure there’s one drug company in particular who is not going to be too happy with Susan May, heh. She presents the most correct information in that end note, but I wish that information had been more clarified in the story so it does not cause any hysteria about antidepressants from people who don’t know the facts. I also wish she had done just a tiny bit more research into Prozac, as some of her descriptions are incorrect. It’s not an upper like speed or cocaine, so one would never say that they use it as a “pick me up”. One is not likely to double up your dose because you’re stressed, because the prescription is for one a day – you need to have a steady stream in your system for it to work, doubling up one day would put you short later on. And one would also not take a Prozac to “take the edge off”, that’s what Xanax does, not Prozac. Prozac just generally makes you feel like a normal person, it doesn’t give you a drugged feeling whatsoever.

But other than that theme really bugging me (right up to the last page), otherwise I genuinely enjoyed May’s storytelling and I do look forward to other books written by her. I love that she had a strong though flawed female here, and though Kendall may have fallen for a man, her life wasn’t completely focused on finding one. It just happened. The cop duo were a great pair, and all the smaller characters were well done and interesting too. The killing scenes were chilling, but there was humor throughout the book that balanced it out.

Like I said, a solid 4 stars. I would recommend it, even with the one problem, and I’d definitely recommend trying her other books too.

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