I met Sarah at a writer’s group that I joined when I moved. She was discussing abusive relationships in books with someone else at the table. Naturally, being the person that I am, I inserted myself into the conversation. We got to talking and I mentioned I run a book review blog. She mentioned she’s written some books. It was a match made in heaven.
When Sarah gave me her first book to read, she told me to be honest with the review. I told her I would be, even if it meant she didn’t like me any more. She assured me that wasn’t a problem.
When I picked up Detective Docherty, I realized it’s the exact type of book I’ve always wanted to write, which made me even more excited to read it. I love that it takes place in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area, for those non-Ontario, Canada people), so I know many of the places that she mentions in the book. There’s just something special about reading a book and knowing you’ve stood where some of the characters are standing (hypothetically). Sarah does a really good job of painting the scene even for places I haven’t been before, like Docherty’s office. The descriptions are wonderful.
Out of all of the characters in the book, I identify most with Ares. I don’t know what that says about me. Half of the book is told from his point of view, half told from Alexandria’s point of view. While Alexandria is young, cheery, and excited about life, Ares is grumpy, pulled back, and paranoid. Mind you, he is a vampire, so I feel like that comes with the territory. Both points of view are written well; I never confused who was talking. I think Sarah’s hands down best talent is her ability to develop distinct characters. Not one of her characters sounds like any of the others, they’re all distinct personalities, even if they’re only in the story for a page.
The other thing that I appreciated about Detective Docherty was all of the mythology that Sarah’s weaved in. It’s done in such a way where it’s completely just part of the world. She doesn’t info dump, even though she has to explain these myths as the story progresses so you know what’s going on. It was done really well.
The one issue I had with the book was the plot line. I felt like some parts of it were rushed or not explained enough, which did confuse me at some points. It wasn’t enough to deter me from continuing the series, but it did make me stop reading a couple of times to figure out what was going on.
All in all, Detective Docherty and the Demon’s Tears is a great first book in a series that I can’t wait to continue. I might be a tad jealous and wished I’d written it myself 😉