The Killing of Mindi Quintana by Jeffrey A. Cohen

Genre: Crime Fiction
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 247
Challenges: none
Source: Copy provided by publicist/publisher

The Short Version:
It’s crime fiction with a slightly twisted look at both corporate America and the justice system and a couple of jabs at the media along the way.

Why I Read It:
When I got an email from the publicist offering a copy for review it sounded interesting so I said yes.

The Book
As you can guess from the title, Mindi Quintana gets killed, but that doesn’t actually happen until about the middle of the book. The first part of the book gives the background of the main characters and some of the events leading up to her death.

Freddy Builder is an odd person. He’s stuck in middle management in a department store, but he dreams of a different life. When he happens to meet up with a woman he dated briefly in college, a series of events is set in motion that spiral out of control.

A killer who becomes a celebrity and a media darling may end up becoming more famous than he ever anticipated, but will that provide justice for the death of a young woman? Freddy’s attorney is increasingly disgusted with his client’s hunger for fame, but can he do anything about it?

My Thoughts:
The title makes it clear who is going to die and it’s a slow start since the actual killing doesn’t happen till the middle.  It’s a somewhat jumpy and disconnected set up in the first half, but it fits because it raises the discomfort level.  Just reading about Freddy made me feel uncomfortable, and when the story moves into the investigation and after the arrest, things actually start to move along much quicker.

It’s a book that brings to mind many real life stories of criminals who become famous and media and fan favorites for all the wrong reasons. It’s a plot that will make you think, but it’s also got some wickedly fun dark humor in the mix too.

The department store where Freddy works and his co-workers there had me giggling. It’s a sardonic look at ridiculous corporate structures and the middle managers who get caught up in the games that go along with them.

It was an entertaining and quick read, but I would have liked to know Mindi more. It was easy to hope for a certain outcome due to disliking Freddy, but it wanting that outcome because I cared more about Mindi would have added to the experience of this book. I did like it well enough that I’ll be on the lookout for future work from the author.

Rating 3.5/5