The Swamps of Jersey by Michael Stephen Daigle

The Swamps of Jersey by Michael Stephen Daigle
Publisher: Imzadi Publishing, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (238 pgs)
Rating: 2.5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Ironton, New Jersey has seen hard times before. Deserted factories and empty stores reflect the decades-long decline, that even Mayor Gabriel Richman, scion of one of the city’s leading political families, cannot seem to rectify. Now families are living on the street or in the shells of the old factories.

A week-long tropical storm floods the depressed city bringing more devastation as well as a new misery: The headless, handless body of a young woman in the Old Iron Bog.

Between the gruesome murder and an old factory suspiciously burning down, Detective Frank Nagler begins to believe that incarcerated Charlie Adams, the city’s famous serial killer, may have fostered a copycat killer. Determined to find the truth, he follows the case that leads into unexpected places.

A broken city flooded under a tropical storm has enough to deal with but when a gruesome murder is added to the mix will the city ever be able to recover from a place of financial ruin?

I can’t say this was the most exciting mystery I’ve read, but it was an interesting read that is well written. The author has away of creating scenes with detailed description so the reader has a good enough visual. The book has a interesting concept, but at times lost my interest. In reading the excerpt I thought the book would be more of a mystery about the body found in the local swamp, and the investigation in finding the killer. Frankly this book was more about the politics of the town and its financial decay.

The characters lacked depth and I just couldn’t find myself connecting. Detective Frank Nagler is on the hunt to identify the person responsible for dumping a young woman’s body in the Old Iron Bog. This isn’t a simple case for Detective Nagler because he ends up uncovering a lot of corruption along with having to confront a past relationship.

The story gives great detail, however there are parts where it went overboard. In the first part of the story there are about three or four pages describing the rain, flood and damages to the city of East Ironton. The description was given with such flair I was in awe of the author’s poetic flow in describing such a detail that I could visualize the continuous rain and for a brief moment I could imagine the rhythmic sounds while reading, however it does slow down the story.

Though this was a bit different from the suspense I normally read the conclusion was somewhat surprising. I didn’t suspect the killer so I guess this makes for a successful suspenseful read.

Though I wouldn’t really call this a mystery, the writing was pleasurable. I would recommend to someone that enjoys reading about town politics and cities with corrupt officials.

Speak Your Mind