“Book Review: August in D Minor”
Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell
This mystery navigates the lengths parents will go to defend and protect their children—and how, just like in real life, it’s easy to fall short.
This story feels like a game of Clue, with each chapter giving us a small and dangerous piece of the puzzle. J. Charmein Everett does a great job of keeping the pace calm, even when the stakes are high in August in D Minor. Though just over 150 pages, this story turns out to be a thrilling and un-rushed read that has me nervous for nearly each character.
When Augie wakes up on the day of his daughter’s wedding, he has no real clue what’s in store for him. His day starts by watching a woman he used to love (Ariel) act in an old movie and by watching the women he currently loves (his wife and only daughter) get ready for the best day of his daughter’s life. Still, he can’t help but sulk. And as his day unfolds into somewhat of a shit show, his ex-love Ariel gets her own perspective, returning home with vengeance on her mind—suspicious that Augie and his dangerous past ended up killing her daughter. When Ariel shows up at the wedding, motivated to get her way, we have to keep our eye out for danger lurking around more than one corner.
The relationship between Augie and Ariel is turbulent. We get glimpses of their seedy and drama-filled past and then venture back into present day where they both have become slight burnouts of their former selves. Ariel craves a fame she may never get, and Augie craves a relationship that he never really got over. Neither is satisfied. J. Charmein Everett does a masterful job with her main characters by making you root for two considerably unlikeable people. Though they both seem scary and cut-throat, I always want them to get what they’re after.
While I had a good time with August in D Minor, there might be a few too many characters to keep track of. Though many of them have an important role to play, it’s easy to get lost in the names and changing scenery. Still, once you get a handle on everyone, the value of many characters shines through. My favorite is Gloria, the mother in-law with her eye on bad omens and on her less-than-favorite son-in-law. Especially in the beginning of the book, the trouble she causes is like a twisted comedic relief.
A great quick read for mystery lovers, August in D Minor satisfies in keeping us on the edge of our seats and allowing a few menacing people to release years of built-up frustration.
Paperback: 162 pages
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