Original publish date: 12 April 2014
Bob Moats’s Classmate Murders was an enjoyable read and it wasn’t your typical high school revenge story, as I had thought when I saw the front cover.
With the protagonist at 60 years old, I found his fascination with “investigating” interesting–on the one hand, he has the free time to investigate, on the other, his physical mobilities would be limited, which the narrative did address at times. An older character voice isn’t one that you get encounter all the time, so it was a nice change of pace to read it.
The story was fast-paced, which kept my attention while reading it. The fact that it was set near Detroit in my home state of Michigan was an added plus that made me “squee” internally with recognition of “I know there!” There were plently of dead-end leads and turns to the story to keep the suspense up and drive reader curiosity, even if the twists were predictable as they remained within common formulaic archetypes.
With the mystery being fast-paced to build suspense, I understand the need for Jim Richards to quickly become attached to Penny; however, that was my biggest contention. Even if you had a MAJOR crush on someone in high school, I highly doubt that after 40 years that conviction would be the same. So, when Jim and Penny pretty much immediately went after each other like a couple of teenagers and quickly attest their feelings for one another, I found it incredibly unrealistic. Moats did address it somewhat when Jim mentions that he knows Penny but also doesn’t know her, but it wasn’t quite enough to make me believe it.
Overall, I’d give this book 3 out of 5 stars.