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Deliberate Duplicity

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Deliberate Duplicity
A Detective Sasha Frank Mystery (Detective Sasha Frank Mysteries Book 1)
by David Rohlfing
Greenleaf Book Group 
River Grove Books
 General Fiction (Adult)  |  Mystery & Thrillers 
Pub Date 05 Jan 2021 

I am reviewing a copy of Deliberate Duplicity and Greenleaf Book Group/River Grove Books and Netgalley:

After bodies start to appear on the Constitution Trail in the twin cities of Bloomington and Normal, Illinois, dedicated detective Sasha Frank is on the case.

In Deliberate Duplicity the reader is able to follow Sasha’s attempts to track down the culprit, the killer is calculating and methodical killer who glues open his victims’ eyes and poses them along a park trail. He has a complicated web of clues leaves Sasha and his team with more questions than answers. 

What’s the killer’s motive?  How are the victims connected to one another? As the story starts to unravel, Sasha who is ordinarily calm and collective starts to feel the great pressure of the case.  Will he be able to solve the mystery before time runs out and bring justice to all who were affected?

If you are looking for an exciting, enthralling read is an exciting and well created mystery.

I give Deliberate Duplicity, five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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A very clever approach to present the side of the criminal and the investigator, demonstrating that who the good guys are is a matter of perspective.  This was a really well judged approach for this book as some of the details are pretty confronting and it’s fascinating to try to understand why people do what they do.  The book took a while to get going but was really worth the wait.
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I'll be in the minority here and say I enjoyed this story. Where there errors? Yes. Did they distract me from what is was reading? No.The book is obviously.self published and I think the next book will be much improved. I'm an Illinois girl that only lives a couple of hours from the setting of this book, Bloomington, Illinois. I also found that I !lied our protagonist Detective Sasha Frank very much. He's bright and I loved the dry humor. As for the storyline.... I enjoyed it and I loved the characters. I did know early on who the real culprit was but I didn't know why. All in all, I'm looking forward to the next book.
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Unfortunately, here's good plot ruined by very boring storytelling, with lots and lots of useless descriptions.
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I felt like it took me a minute to really get into the story. I felt like the initial crime scene and questioning took so long because it was a lot of back and forth simple dialogue. For instance, when Beff was talking about the first victims, she would say in her report, “as you know it means this”. The definitions were unnecessary to me because If I didn’t know it, I could google it. I felt like it took away from the flow of dialogue with having to explain every medical term. Also, there are approximately 492 police officers we meet. We get a little tid bit about them. I just wanted the facts of the case if 491 of them didn’t come back up in the story. Once I got past it and we got into the plot of the book, it was great! 

Sasha Frank is a hilarious detective. As my father would say, “would you like some water for my dry sense of humor” 😂 I also really loved Janet and Sasha’s relationship. I like that they had their own language and phrases. It showed how truly genuine their relationship was. 

This serial killer was really creative. I loved how it occurred. I don’t want to give too much away, but the little twist with Charlie & Brian really shocked me! While I thought that shocked me, the motive and how it all played out was great. I was sad that it only was a few pages long! I wanted more of that! 

Overall, this book had great potential. I felt like there was a lot of detail in this book that muddled the plot for the reader. I did enjoy the killer’s perspective and how we got to see the killer change after every kill.  I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the why instead of the who, which was unique and what kept my interest. It’s a good serial killer story that many will enjoy! Thank you Booksforwardpr for the gifted copy. Deliberate Duplicity is out Jan. 5th.
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A slight twist on a detective story.  The book starts out following the murders of several people before switching to a detective working on solving the murders.  All is not as it seems. The story unfolds slowly
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If there was a possibility to rate a book as 1,5/5, I'd do it. Unfortunately, I wouldn't recommend the book as it is today. I must admit that I read it in one sitting; despite all flaws which will be listed below, it has a spark, a unique captivating charm needed to be successful among readers. I believe that after proper editing it could be transformed into a true crime gem. 

First and the non-obvious to English-speaking audience flaw is main character's Soviet background. Russians have a lot of diminutive forms of traditional names. Sasha, Shura, Shurik, Alex; these are forms of a name Alexandr, so main character's grandfather was Alexandr. Nobody would put a diminutive form of a name in a passport. The author managed to make 3 mistakes naming Sasha's Russian mother Alyona Anya Vasilevskaya. Russians do not have second names. Very rarely and only in modern times. And again, according to the passport, Alyona would be Yelena and Anya would be Anna. 

Sasha's heroic grandfather and his mother's defect look pathetic and show author's non-acquaintance with history. WWII didn't end with Berlin's surrender and who and when would capture Berlin was decided beforehand at Yalta Conference. A low-key Soviet embassy's employee running away with an FBI agent seems unreal due to the fact that Soviet personnel was closely supervised and the traitor's family would be imprisoned in the case of a treason. 

Second and the most obvious flaw is book's style with excessive use of nouns, repetition of words, phrases, and even scenes. The author is obsessed with handshakes, 'roger that', little prayers, and 'pressure went up exponentially'. For example: 'He texted her (...); 'Michael gently set JJ down on the bed, and JJ immediately lay down and rolled over'. Sasha promised to find a killer 4 times, 3 times while being alone and 1 time on public. When being on a murder scene, readers are provided with the same information in exact the same words first from a patrolman, then from a witness. 

Cliches like hints to homosexual relations in jails, bad coffee at a police station and a mayor pressuring for a quick investigation distract from little and big inconsistencies in the plot. For example, while Sasha was on the first crime scene making a report he had already got results of autopsy of the victims. One of the witnesses was described as an old lady, but a patrolman called her Ms. and she corrected him with discontent. Big part of the book is a sequence of murder scenes; we do not see much of a thinking process of a detective or dynamics of the investigation. Even for an unexperienced eye canvas of a murder line is far-fetched, and in the end killer's motives stay unconvincing. Personally, I was disappointed by 'who done it', because it left the impression that the author himself did not know how to tie up all lines together. 

Going into details about characters' background plays a bad joke with the narrative as a reader is drowning in unneccessary names which appear one time and do not play any significant part (why do we have to know the names of Sasha's mother and father if they do not play any role in Sasha's life and do not appear in the investigation?). Characters are described with exact physical data - height, weight - but there is not much of a development or personal growth. 

As a conclusion, I'd recommend to the author to edit the material and double-check the neccessity of facts/names unrelated to the main storyline.
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A rather unique crime thriller.

‘Deliberate Duplicity’ deals with the story of a mysterious serial killer who leaves a dead body behind every ten days, a killer equipped with a strange and unbelievably neat method of killing. Passionate detective Sasha Frank finds himself entrusted with the duty of handling the case with little to no clue about the murderer and their motive. With no visible solution, the pressure keeps rising insanely with the body-count. Sasha Frank and his team, however, is not ready to give up. 

This slow-paced thrilling book that provides the perspective of both the criminals and the investigators can hold the readers in its prison till the very end. Written in a rather unusual style, the story undoubtedly has the potential to steal a number of hearts. 

The author did a smart job by letting the readers have a look at the story through the reprobates’ eyes since the perspective of the detectives alone in this case would have turned away a lot of people. The amount of details provided in the book really helps in creating a vivid and realistic image of what is going on. The style of narration is satisfactory, and the flow of dialogue is quite natural. 

I personally believe that David Rohlfing did a much better job presenting the criminals. 

Although the details play their own role in shaping the characters and the scenes, the author could still have spared some of those. The protagonist does not show up in the first fifteen percent of the story, and the way J’Quon McSweeney was portrayed at first, the readers might expect him to have a heavier impact on the story. 

Shortcomings aside, it is a pretty good pick. Recommended for fans of crime fiction.
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Thank you so much to NetGalley, Greenleaf book group, River Grove books and Books Forward BFF for my copy of Deliberate Duplicity by David Rohlfing. It publishes January 5, 2021.
This was a hard-to-put-down detective mystery that had so many twists and turns. It was truly impossible to figure out who did what and why. I had to keep reading to find out what would happen! Definitely looking forward to the next installment in this series!
TW: Details of gruesome murders
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