2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 260 books.

Book Review: The Bricklayer of Albany Park by Terry John Malik

A few weeks ago I introduced you to author Terry John Malik and promised a review of his new book – The Bricklayer of Albany Park, a peek behind the curtain of detective work that addresses whether it takes a monster to catch a monster. The book was a fantastic read and I’m pleased to finally share my thoughts with you! Enjoy…

This was a fascinating, engaging read and a very well-crafted tale. Alternating perspectives seems to be the new favorite format for thrillers/killer-drama. When it doesn’t work it’s a woeful failure. When it does, as here, it’s a great way to tell a complex story without forcing the reader to sit through a slog of backstory/atmospherics. Malik uses the format to great success, rendering both the Bricklayer/Anthony and the Detective/Frank human and relatable, even when their actions take them in directions that are difficult or questionable.

I found the plot and series of reveals to be well-paced and engaging, with just enough detail provided to keep me guessing and just enough twists and turns to keep me slightly off-kilter throughout – which I love because it makes the story all the more immersive. The surprisingly (in this genre) subtle explication and consideration of mental illness throughout was a pleasant surprise and contributed to the breadth of the story considerably. I’ve lived in Chicago, and found the descriptions of the city to ring with a resonance that I enjoyed. And the supporting cast – particularly Thomas Aquinas Foster – really added a depth to the story and to the two main characters without ever distracting from the central narrative.

All in all this was a thoroughly entertaining tale and Malik is definitely on my list of authors to watch.

Thanks to Meryl Zegarek Public Relations and the author for my review copy.

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