Review: In Search of a Story by Andrew Grey

Standard

Rating: 3.25 stars

In Search of a story coverReporter Brad Torrence is worried about his job. Brad hasn’t been able to write the stories he knows is inside of him, and he is stuck proofreading and fact checking other  reporters stories.  When his boss tells him that the stories he submitted are boring and to try and find one in the classified ads, Brad can’t believe it.  But disobeying the boss means being out of a job, and Brad does as he was instructed.  Brad is frustrated and ready to give up when a ad jumps out and captures his attention. For Sale: Nursery Items, Never Used.  Thinking that a story of loss and regret would be a perfect subject for his next deadline, Brad contacts the person behind the ad and finds more than he had expected.

Anesthesiologist Cory Wolfe is still grieving over the loss of his best friend and the child he was to adopt.  When reporter Brad Torrence contacts him about the ad he placed, Cory agrees to an interview, thinking it might help him obtain the closure he needs.  During the interview, Cory finds the process of sharing his story emotionally liberating and healing while Brad gets something he can personally relate to in Cory’s story.  After the interview is finished, both men find themselves attracted to and wanting to see each other again.

Cory and Brad find themselves in a relationship that is growing stronger by the day but another mystery finds its way onto Brad’s desk.  Soon Brad is pursuing leads that threaten their new relationship and imperil their lives.   What will Brad do in search of a story?

I love Andrew Grey’s work and look forward to each new story he writes.  The last few books published, especially The Good Fight series, has been outstanding.  I only wish I could say the same about In Search of a Story, but that is not the case.

In Search of a Story has a interesting premise, one that drew me in immediately.  Who doesn’t look through the classified ads and find tantalizing bits of human history offered up in just a few lines.  So I couldn’t wait to see where Grey took this plot and what spin he put on the narrative.  And as far as the outline of the plot goes, the author did a good job.  I thought the idea of a grief stricken almost parent mourning the loss of a child compelling. So too the idea that a connection between the reporter and the person who filled the classified ad is made.  There was so much promise here, so much ground that could have been covered and turned into an amazing story.  But two things kept that from happening. And unfortunately, they are the two main characters.

For some strange reason, neither Brad nor Cory are especially compelling.  These characters came across as oddly flat from the very beginning. While “listening” to Cory tell his story, I was never really engaged in the personal tragedy that was being revealed, there was a distance from the characters and their history almost immediately.  Brad too felt one dimensional, too cub reporter in search of a story that I have seen before.  Much is made of his background with his mother but again the author has problems making that a part of the much larger picture of grief over the loss of a child after highlighting it in the narrative.  From scene to scene, I kept hoping to find a spark that would let me feel part of their story and romance, but it never came about.

There is a secondary mystery here for Brad to solve.  It serves to introduce a measure of suspense and danger into a story that really needs it.  But again, this interesting segment was not given the attention or resolution that it was due and the outcome of this investigation ended up frustrating me with its incomplete story, rather than buttressing up the original plot as I am sure the author intended.

In the end, the story just has an off feel to it.  It leaves the reader wondering more what went wrong, than happy over the characters and their relationship.  If you are new to Andrew Grey as an author, there are so many great books of his out there to start with, so give this a pass.  If Andrew Grey is an automatic must read, then take this as a note of caution and make up your own mind.  Either way, I will be looking forward to his next book as always, because given how prolific Mr. Grey is, even he must have an off day at times.  Consider this one of his.

Cover Art by Brooke Albrecht.  I think the cover is ok, but nothing on the dramatic side.  However, it is in line with the story inside the covers.

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published May 31st 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1623806143 (ISBN13: 9781623806149)
urlhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3825