I have always liked reading mystery and detective stories, so when I got the opportunity to read this book I welcomed it with open hands. Malevolent is the first book in the Shaye Archer series. It is a mix of not so good detective work and a much better suspense and mystery aura.
The book starts with Shaye, the main protagonist, accepting a new client at her private detective agency. We know right of the bat with what case the book will be dealing with. The case is a detective cliché, dealing with stalking due to murder. That is a bit disappointing; this topic has been covered in detective books from top to bottom already and is certainly nothing fresh. It reeks of death, as a matter of fact.
As far as detective skills go – we are told at the beginning that Shaye is just starting in the whole detective business. While that prepares us for a few beginner mistakes, which is fine, it does certainly not prepare us for the apathetic detective. Shaye is made out to be a very smart woman, but her actions disprove that. While she is posing as an interior designer, she picks up the envelope left by the stalker and puts it in her bag, like a complete amateur. There is just nothing there that would make her stand out more as a detective than a random person passing by. Her solving skills are really bad, which brings me to the next point.
Shaye caught the wrong guy. Rings a bell? Yes, another familiar tune. Somehow all writers manage to implement catching the wrong guy in their books without fail and it is annoying. As a reader you will be able to see that before anyone else in the book does. And that does not make it a fun read whatsoever.
Plot twist without any background is pointless and stupid. You will find out at the end, that the person behind the stalking is actually a character that had five lines in the whole book. It was like the author thought it would be really interesting to do that and screw with us readers. I do not mind screwing around but making the main antagonist someone who was not involved in the main story whatsoever is just dumb. You cannot even relate to that character because of that and when the moment of revelation comes you are just left unconcerned and uninterested.
All in all, it is a good enough read if you have nothing else to read, and you just want to waste some time on a book that you will not remember or regret reading.
Book recommendation: 5/10