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Reviewed by Roy T. James for Readers' Favorite
Double Ugly by Jim Murray begins when Detective Sergeant Armand Burke is shocked at finding a corpse in his bed. Though he was just back from duty, the finger of suspicion pointed to him and strongly so, since the gloves recovered from the scene revealed only one set of finger prints, that of Armand. A police investigation begins, with Armand sustaining a heart attack during interrogation and undergoing further treatment. The details of suspicion falling on other people, to finally rest on the culprit, are covered with needle-like precision and a gripping narrative. The human nature of the protagonists also gets its due share of attention, and the psychological trauma that would have haunted Armand comes alive in many of the conversational exchanges.
Double Ugly by Jim Murray is a story told well, the suspense carefully guarded till the end. Many of the characters, although presenting a rough and graceless appearance, evoke more sympathy than disdain. The introduction of the most important words of this story, ‘double ugly’, to the plot and further development, as well as its role as a prime suspect of this case, could have been more lucid. This is a well organized narrative with all the elements of a successful mystery. As the author writes about the hero: “And while you might search for humility and self-deprecation, the man’s reserve and self-assurance are insurmountable. Some might say just a teeny bit repellent. And then one realizes that this is the caliber of those who hunt monsters.”