Crime A Small Town with Big Secrets by Michael A. Smith is a short read with an interesting subtitle. “Everyone” knows that a small town has the best, juiciest, and sleaziest secrets. Curious minds want to know. With Kindle Unlimited, it cost me nothing to find out and an intriguing introduction tells readers what to look for. A newly arrived family of four has secrets. Maybe more than one secret. Maybe the family has secrets even from each other.
Alex and Linz arrived in Kendalsett, the small town referenced in the title, from England. The first mystery of the story is why they moved from England. To get a new start? Sure. But why? Early in the story, we learn that there was an unsolved murder of a person everyone in the family knew. It occurred while they were still in England, so the reader immediately suspects that the murder may have been a reason. And when another murder occurs in Kendalsett, a murder with some common features with the one in England, most readers will conclude that someone in this family had something to do with it.
There is a surprise ending but the set up for the story has left few possibilities for the reader to think about. Most readers will read the story just to see if their guess is right. At only 48 pages it won’t take up much time, something to read over coffee. There is no excitement to the story. I felt reading it was like leaving the television on just for the noise. The most interesting feature of the story is the British English used.
“There was no way that he was going to allow Jack to offload on him anymore.” (Kindle Location 126). I have never heard “offload” used in this way.
“She couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding!” (Kindle Locations 417-418). I don’t know what this means.
“You think you’re so grown up, having sex with that little no-mark toad.” (Kindle locations 721-722). What toads have to do with human sexuality remains a mystery to me.
I gave the story three Amazon stars. It is OK. Just that.