Book Review: The Next by Rafe Haze

via goodreads

via goodreads

I was initially lured into this because of its deceptively wicked cover and who could resist such? Then the story synopsis seems like a good one from a debuting author no less. And then you have that very interesting title – The Next, so this should be really good right? The story revolves around a 40 year old songwriter in New York who seemed to have lost all of his life energy until he found himself in the midst of catching the killer who lives around his courtyard through the help of Marzoli, a sexy police detective who summoned his help to uncover the mysterious murders. Before realizing that there’s something more between them, his dark past creeps like a thief that may derail their case and their budding romance.

I don’t know how to really feel about this book. There are things that I liked about it and there are tons that are just downright No-No for me. First, the writing style isn’t my favorite at all. There’s like 20% dialogues in it and those 20% aren’t exclusive from our MC’s. I feel like that should be fine but then, having no to few lines at all renders us readers unattached with the characters. Second, there’s just too many hifalutin words that I find myself re-reading a whole paragraph to a page because I can’t seemed to grasp what he’s trying to say. Then you have these almost annoying flashbacks popping every now and then from our main protagonist which seriously isn’t helping the story development at all. I know that it’s trying to build up the suspense but it isn’t working for me, not even one bit.

For some minor details, I just can’t get over their incredulous plan of baiting Mr. Perfect with Marzoli actually having sex with the creep and unprotected sex for that matter. That’s like violating the romance / sex code – I was like, fuck fuckity NO HE DIDN’T!!! And he caaaammmeee!!!!! He could just maim the other guy for fckussssake and get over it. But then, our genius mc won’t be able to figure out where Ruben’s kept. UGH.

Then I also have the issue of our main character being gay. Of course HE IS gay and all but there was no part in his history where it was mentioned. I also didn’t get how easily the romance ensues between him and Marzoli. That’s some serious bullshit in there. Okay, I guess I’m getting agitated now. Dunno’ it’s just freaking the hell out of me for some reason.

And ya know what I really, really liked about this book? It’s not the main protagonist but his supposed love interest. Marzoli’s an interesting character and that one bit of history he revealed about himself didn’t give his character that much justice. And his supposed smarts contradict their lousy plan to capture the killer.

The whole vibe of the book is dark, depressing and troubling. If you’re looking for a romantic connection between you and the couple, you won’t find it here. Suspense, nope – there isn’t much, though clearly the author was trying hard to get into that. You also need a thesaurus, dictionary or what with you because it was really a bit self-indulgent. This would’ve been a great story but just fell short on the sidelines.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars


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