Book review: The Hanged Man by P.N. Elrod

I enjoyed this book while I was reading it. The first two chapters stumble a bit. I had to reread them. I found the similarity of names was confusing. A simple ‘protagonist was named after the Queen’ type sentence was all that was needed to clarify it and I could have moved on without rereading it. The story, itself didn’t take very long to hook me and I didn’t want to put it down. I started to get worried that I would have to wait a year for a sequel to arrive.

By the time I was over half way done, it just kept speeding up and the mystery unraveled. Then it was done. All done. I was left with an empty feeling. The story was too quick. In hindsight, the mystery was like following a trail of breadcrumbs with each crumb actually being a crouton and at times a whole slice of bread sitting on the pavement. Our protagonist, Alex, didn’t really struggle to find clues, much less have to think very hard to solve them. The whole story is over in twenty-four hours as she connects the dots as easy as a game of hopscotch. Our heroine is promising, likeable, smart when she’s allowed to be. Interesting characters were introduced, but we weren’t allowed to sit around and get to know them, much less attached to them. So many things were left unexplained.hangedman

What I would like to have seen, if I had this manuscript land on my desk is for this whole story to be expanded. Rather than scarf this mystery down like a fast food cheeseburger, it should be a four-course meal. Let the reader savor it and wait in anticipation as every page turns. Throw in a dead end or red herring now and again. There was so much more that could have been done here.

It is a good book, an interesting story with a lot of potential. It is simply written for those that prefer instant gratification over full immersion in a new universe. I still recommend reading it.


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