So Many Reasons to Die: An Andi Battaglia – Greg Lamont Mystery
by Carole Sojka (Somalia 1962–64)
$14.00 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle)
Reviewed by Matthew Hamilton (Armenia 2006-08 and Philippines 2008-10)
This evocative sequel to A Reason to Kill, by Carole Sojka (Somalia 1962-64), comes with all the sleaze, violence, and eroticism one expects to find on the sketchy side of Miami’s nightlife. One reader said, “There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars.”
I would have to agree. The story centers on the murder victim, Miranda Duncan, whom we never meet, but learn about through her friends, lovers, and enemies. She is indeed a fascinating character, a true femme fatale that led a life of intrigue, danger, and seduction.
Sojka is an excellent researcher. Her descriptions of the murder scene and the way police conduct investigations are authentic. Furthermore, her two main characters, Detectives Andi Battaglia and Greg Lamont, possess the behaviors that one expects from real police officers, that is to say, although they cry and show fear, they are also realistically courageous when placed in compromising and dangerous situations. And despite their personal struggles and flaws, they keep their character and professionalism intact while on the hunt for an elusive killer.
Sojka is also a good storyteller. Although her descriptions of Miami’s nightlife and club scenes are lacking in the flare and electricity I had come to expect, the novel’s fast pace, memorable characters, and quick wit effectively compensate for the lack of description. After all, it is the story that is most important.
If you enjoy reading about murder, intrigue, and spicy Miami nightlife, I highly recommend this book.
Matthew Hamilton is a former Soldier, Congressional Aide, US Peace Corps Volunteer (Armenia 2006-08 and Philippines 2008-10) and Benedictine Monk. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from Fairfield University and is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee. His chapbook of poetry, The Land of Four Rivers: My Experience as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia (2006-2008), published by Cervena Barva Press, won the 2013 Best Poetry Book from Peace Corps Writers. His second poetry collection, Lips Open and Divine, was released in April, 2016 by Winter Goose Publishing.
Currently, Matthew is the librarian at Benedictine College Preparatory School, an all-male, Catholic Military high school in Richmond, VA.
Visit him here: matthewahamilton.com. Writers, note that he provides editing serves.