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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
It’s such a pleasure to pick up a mystery novel and immediately begin to relate to the primary characters because of their humaneness. That’s how realistic and likable the protagonist of Murder Bytes by Gayle Carline is. Peri is a private investigator on the point of retiring when her estranged brother, Dev, contacts her out of the blue, needing her help after he awakens in a hotel room with a beautiful, but now very bloodied and dead business associate. Did Dev kill her? He doesn’t remember. But shortly after reaching out to Peri for help, Dev confesses to the murder. Peri doesn’t believe he could have done this but when she tries to learn more from Dev, he clams up and refuses to talk to her. And so begins the exciting plot of Murder Bytes, and if you’re conversant with computer speak, you’ll soon realize why “Bytes” isn’t spelled bites, though murder does indeed bite in this engaging novel.
Peri is aided in her search for the truth by her fiance, a police detective also on the point of retiring once he and Peri tie the knot. As readers follow these three key characters, we come to know them as if they are members of our family: they voice their fears, their misgivings, their personal weaknesses and, above all, their love for each other. They are all pros in their line of work but so very human in their personal and social lives. Many novelists script a great plot but more often than not, the characters are cookie-cutter, almost miraculous problem solvers...borderline wooden. Not so Peri and her man! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Murder Bytes: it’s logically plotted but takes its time and hence builds up the suspense to finally fill readers in on who did what and why. If you’re looking for a short but absorbing read, don’t hesitate to add this one to your bucket list. I know I won’t hesitate to pick up another novel by Gayle Carline.