Publisher: Stolen Time Press
Author: Andrew Diamond
Released: June 1st 2018
Warnings: Rape, assault, overdoses
I received a copy of Gate 76 from BookishFirst in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Gate 76 is Andrew Diamond’s third novel, and while I haven’t read any of the others yet, he seems to be a very interesting writer. He seems to enjoy taking careers and situations and twisting them into fascinating tales, such as this one.
Warnings first: This is a gritty PI novel, even if it doesn’t look like one. There are drugs, overdoses, rape, assault, murder, and anything else you can think of. The rape and assault scenes are probably the more detailed of these, and they can easily make one uncomfortable to read. There were times where I actually skipped ahead because I couldn’t take it. So please be aware of this before you start reading.
This novel is about a private investigator named Freddy. Unlike the PI we picture in our heads though, Freddy’s current case isn’t all about skulking in allies and that sort of thing. Believe it or not, he’s investigating a plane crash.
Now realistically I can actually see how it makes sense for an airline to hire as many people as possible to investigate something major like that. For one thing they need as many eyes on it as possible, and for another a different perspective could very well help. Not to mention that if they want to look into every single passenger on a plane…well that’s an awful lot of people to look into, isn’t it?
I do love the different use of a PI character here. I can honestly say that I’ve never read a novel where a PI investigated a plane crash, and I really love it when authors try something new. So I can’t give this part enough credit.
I will say that I loved the introduction to this novel; it immediately pulled my attention to it. I couldn’t stop reading, and I just had to know what happened next to the mystery woman that so captured his attention.
Unfortunately I also feel that the introduction was the highlight of the novel. From there I feel like the book lost focus, delving deeper and deeper into criminal activities, slowly making itself more convoluted and complex as time went on. It ended up becoming less about the parts I loved, and more about gritty crimes and the like.
I think my biggest complaint would have to be all the effort put in to making Freddy look like an awesome guy. The author wanted us to simultaneously believe that he’s a badass with anger issues while still being a super sweet guy that’ll do anything to help someone. Now, that’s actually doable, it just takes a bit of finesse. My problem is how they did it, here’s an example: Freddy met a woman who’s been put into the position of being a prostitute (I’m not entirely sure it was on her own free will either) and she wants help getting out of there. While he did buy her a plane ticket, he also slept with her. So it kind of seems like she paid for the ticket with her services…which makes him seem like less the good guy and more like one of her clients…
I had other problems with Freddy’s character, but that was the biggest point for me. On the whole I just feel like this book got in over its head. It was trying to do too much with not enough pages or time. Maybe if it had been stretched out into a couple of books it would have worked better?