Henry Hoffman is a Florida based writer who is well known for his Adam Fraley mystery/detective series. Hoffman’s recent work The Ephemeral File is a story of finding a lost love of World War II veteran. I’m a fervent reader of crime novels but i’ve read only few books which dragged me into the them alike this one.
What is the story line?
Private Investigator Adam Fraley takes on the case of a world war II vet who is looking for his lost love Staci Carew. Its been over fifty years since he last saw her. Because of his manager Tamra’s recommendation Adam takes the case into his bucket and starts his usual exploration with just name and the school of Staci Carew. As the story moves, which seemed like a simple case of lost love develops into greater extent. The tale of the world war II veteran and his lost love rolls out to be a personal mission for Adam.
It might look like a simple backstory, but the novel turns ultimately into the investigation about a dead girl Kati Carew, Staci’s twin sister who was a top gymnast of her time. She dies of an fortuitous fall of the bridge over a river. With further excavation with her coach and the officer who investigated the accident, Adam ponders some shady background events around the whole accident. Apart form the story of Kati Carew, the book also depicts the personal life of Adam and his adopted child Noelle well and good.
How good are the characters?
The characters in The Ephemeral File are an wonderful bunch. Both Adam and Noelle come as interesting characters. Though the author does not dwell deep into Noelle’s past, he is still be able to turn her a captivating role. Author tries really hard to get the characters in front of readers eyes in which he is eventually succeeded. The story consists of quite a number of characters, where each and every one played a major role to unbind some mystery around the case.
What about the writing style?
The author’s writing is good. There are many places throughout The Ephemeral File where the author is able to exhibit his abilities as a novelist. The best thing, however, is his skill set to create such an alluring unfolding story-line in just over few hundred pages. Often authors are lost in fluency and beauty of their writing but not Hoffman. Hoffman is concise and exact and it is this conciseness in his writing that lends this book its cheerful character. His style is so flowy and his words are simple.
This is my first Henry Hoffman novel, but surely it won’t be my last.
I also liked the way the author weaves a fascinating tale around a simple love story, connecting it with the story of a dead girl in more than one ways. He also sheds a good amount of light on concepts of lawsuit. In this sense, the book is quite didactic and knowledgeable to its readers. That a lot of work and research has gone into its writing.
What about climax?
The climax satisfies you in the way a habitual crime climax should, but, that will be the added advantage of the book. The author tried to close the all the loop holes around the case.
The Ephemeral File is an fascinating one and does pledge a good amount of amusement. It starts on a really exciting note and with the help of admirable character building and a propitious plot, gets the reader dragged right from the start.
However, it slows towards the exact middle chapter before picking up the pace again in the end of the same. To me, the end felt a bit artful and classy.
To sum it up, it is safe to say that the book scores well in the entertainment quotient.
The Final Verdict
My individual recommendation would be to pick “The Ephemeral File”. It will be surely book for a crime and mystery lovers. Blindly pick this one, which I’m sure you wont regret later.
WRITING STYLE: 7/10
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 7/10