Title: Dream Killer
Author: Mike Baldwin
Publisher: Smashwords, Kindle
Publish Date: November 14th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Fiction, Mystery
To fulfill her friend’s dream, legendary sports agent Veronica Townsend has constructed a kids’ summer camp on the Kansas farm where baseball hero John Jensen was raised. Camp Dream Catcher, though, is in danger of shutting down after a lifeguard is murdered. With cancellations pouring in, Veronica must solve the mystery in a desperate attempt to keep the camp open.
I received a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Dream Killer’s unique premise had initially captured my attention and sparked my interest. Its original setting at an up and coming summer camp for underprivileged children provided for an interesting backdrop as the main plot and murder unfolded.
Relatively speaking, the novel possessed choppy, uneven pacing. The majority of the action occured within the first 15-20% of the book, and the pacing steadily declined for the remainder of the novel. I was disappointed by the seemingly absent climax and expected more of an exciting resolution. I did enjoy the conclusion in the sense that the identity of the killer was not immediately apparent and there were several twists and turns along the way.
The story was recounted in a rather confusing manner, which was compounded by the introduction of a multitude of characters and their respective subplots within a short period of time. It was challenging to differentiate between the initially seemingly unconnected individuals and events, particularly due to the constantly changing point of view. Furthermore, as someone who understands little to nothing about sports, most of the references to baseball and football flew straight over my head and simply served to leave me even more confused than I was to begin with. While this certainly won’t be a hurdle for every reader, I found such statements contributed to my difficulty in following the book.
Similarly, I was disappointed by the apparent lack of character growth throughout the novel. Their static personalities and characteristics caused them to be unrelatable due to their failure to learn from their mistakes and adapt to their environments, whether positively or negatively. Also, as a result of the multitude of characters, readers did not have an opportunity to fully understand or comprehend the thoughts and motives of a select two or three centrap protagonists/antagonists, they were simply provided with a brief overview of all of the characters.
Overall, I enjoyed the mysterious component of this book the most, once I was able to overlook the difficult to follow narration and the excessive number of characters. The storyline definitely had potential but could have used some minor reworking and additional revisions to simplify and clarify certain events and plot aspects.