Outskirts Press (2017)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (8/17)
Just like today, miners in 2012 South Africa fought for better working conditions, better pay and respect. Miners choose to air their grievances in a protest and those who feel they have no right, choose to settle the issue with violence and gunshots.
Frederick Falloy a reporter during this diamond mine violence, now finds himself as a new private investigator closely scrutinizing the similarities of missing diamonds in 2012 to the recent theft of an 11-million-dollar diamond necklace for the Field Museum.
“The Diamond Escape” by Sheila Bitts begins at the Fanny Chinese Restaurant where the topic of the diamond theft begins to take a life of its own. There are many mysterious people who have connections to the diamonds, have the same last name, and yet no one can place them to anyone. Leon Velon, owner of the missing diamonds wants to hire Falloy to be his exclusive investigator, and resorts to drugging the private investigator.
Bitts creates interesting characters, although they seem to be confused in their roles in this mystery. Denial plays an important part in several of these situations. Frederick Falloy is doing his best to determine what the paper trail leads to and often must call upon another detective to assist him, which in all actuality is not much help. Gail, the distraught mother, plays in important role in the investigation in that she has more information than most, however she is very selective with providing the necessary information. The descriptions of the characters and actions to me served little purpose except to fill in space, however I do find them funny. I personally would like to have seen more focus on the storyline.
The plot is interesting in its own way, moves along smoothly, and is entertaining. I wouldn’t call this story line a serious detective thriller, more a cozy mystery. I found the authors dialogue and style of writing to be very creative. Her characters are charming, flirty and witty.
Throw in a little romance, a determined woman and secrets “The Diamond Escape” by Sheila Bitts is an entertaining story and readers will find it very enjoyable.