Review of From Above


From Above by Norah McClintock

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Publication Date: October 25, 2016

In my review of Purgatory’s Angel on September 22, I mentioned Norah McClintock’s  From Above, which I had been reading in parallel. Perhaps the best advice that writers have passed along, next to the obvious one of write, is read. Read as much and as widely as you can. The significance of this was driven home merely by having the opportunity to read both of these novels side-by-side.

From Above is a young adult mystery in which teenage sleuth Riley Donovan tries to track down who murdered a popular high school football player who fell to his death from the roof of the recreation center.

Unfortunately, (and if you’ve been following my reviews this is not going to come as a complete shock to you) this is not the first book in the Riley Donovan series and I have not read the others. Like most mysteries, it can basically be read as a standalone, however, there are references to at least one previous situation probably from the last novel, so I’ll probably be adding the previous Riley Donovans to my tbr pile along with some other Norah McClintock novels.

So, what makes this novel work?

Well, unlike Purgatory’s Angel, while I was reading From Above my mind did not wander. McClintock writes precise prose: minimalist and specific. Once you’re reading, you engage your seatbelt and hang on. The pacing is good as is the mystery.

The only semi-negative comment is that I wish I knew a little bit more about Riley because you don’t really learn a lot about her through the course of the novel, except that, like most mystery sleuths, she’s nosey (which for mysteries is a good thing), once lived with her grandfather and now lives with her Aunt who’s a police detective, and she’s a high school student. Perhaps more about Riley has been conveyed in previous novels and McClintock has chosen not to rehash here, which is actually fine by me, especially if I read the previous novels.

I very much recommend From Above for teenagers who enjoy mysteries. The story is so well written that I also recommend it for adult readers who enjoy the subgenre of cozy mysteries.

Again, From Above is available on October 25.

I received an ARC through LibraryThing’s early reviewer program in exchange for an honest review.

From AmazonFrom Above

rating: butterflybutterflybutterflybutterfly (4 out of 5 butterflies)


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