Reviews of Jacqueline Willoughby by Schuyler Randall

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Blurb: 

A string of mysterious murders rocks Birmingham, Alabama, in the page-turner Jacqueline Willoughby. At first glance, the murders seem to be connected to the Ten Commandments, but FBI agents Kason McAlester and Troy Stephens see that there is more to the story—and that a rare book written decades ago by a woman named Jacqueline Willoughby may have the answer to solving the crimes.

Will the two agents be able to follow the trail of the old book and find the killer responsible for these grisly murders? You’ll have to read Jacqueline Willoughby to find out.

Stacy’s Review:

3 *** stars

Jacqueline Willoughby is a book about a serial killer on the loose in Birmingham, Alabama, who appears to be motivated to right wrongs upper-class, well known citizens have committed against others. They seem to be inspired by the Ten Commandments and an old book, each victim is found with something in their mouth and/or hand stating in a word their sin. I think the story holds great promise, and would like to see the story and characters developed more, and the tale expanded from a novella to a novel. Maybe from time to time in the story, just a glimpse of the vigilante executioner (not revealing too much– just a scene now and then), throughout the story, what he/she is thinking, etc. without letting the reader know the killer’s identity. I think that would add to it as well. I wish to thank Mr. Randall for sharing this book with me!

Daisy’s Review: 

2 ** stars

This is a contemporary murder mystery novella set in Birmingham, Alabama. Two FBI agents follow a string of murders that seem to be linked to the Ten Commandments. The serial killer leaves notes either by the bodies or in their mouths saying which commandment the victim was killed for breaking. Coveting. Lying. Adultery. Theft. Murder. More and more people are showing up dead. Can Agents Kason and Troy discover the perpetrator before it is too late?

For the most part, the characters in this book seem bland, boring, and lacking in personality. They all speak like slang-using, annoying millennial robots, bro. Not only that, but for a murder mystery there isn’t a very somber mood to the story. Or really, any mood or emotion at all. It reads like a description of the actions and words of an assortment of boring characters. And when somebody speaks in the story, there are a hundred other ways to say “so-and-so says”, you don’t need to say “says” every single time! The reading level, according to the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test, is around 5.5, and yet the book contains much too much cursing for a 5th grader. I saw who the murderer was from the time he/she was first introduced, even though the author’s intention was to keep you guessing. Really, there was no other reason for that character to have been in the book. Also, the book comes off as being very incomplete, between its shortness and the fact that it leaves several of the most important questions unanswered. Maybe there will be a sequel?

This book had a great storyline, which is why I gave it two stars instead of one. It had the potential to be a really good story, but it needs more emotion, description, depth, and personality injected into it.

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