The Flats Book Review – A Liz Boyle Mystery by Kate Birdsall

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Detective Liz Boyle knows there is no crime more heinous than the murder of a child. When she and her partner, Tom Goran, are called to a new scene in an area of Cleveland known as The Flats, they find that a killer has taken that to new levels.

As the investigation takes them deeper into the city’s seedy underbelly, the case hits frighteningly close to home when someone Liz loves is added to the list of possible suspects. While fighting her personal demons, she must also pick her way around the department bureaucracy to avoid being pulled from the case.

Liz and Tom will need to solve the most mind-bending mystery of their careers, one in which their personal and professional allegiances—and maybe their sanity—will be tested. But Liz vows to bring the killer to justice at any cost.

the flats book review kate birdsall

Book Review

If you, like me, enjoy binge watching cop shows like Law and Order for hours on end, so long that Netflix deems to ask you if you’re still watching (which, yes, of course you are), you’re bound to enjoy this Cleveland-based detective story. 

The Flats managed to surprise me, even though I read mystery/thrillers with an almost religious zeal. The well-executed ending ties in perfectly with the entirety of the book and gives a satisfying, “How did I not see that coming?,” feel. This crime novel is perfect for those who want a satisfying, yet quick, read with a mystery to untangle. 

Many readers now demand more diversity in fiction. As a result, some authors can come across as though they are trying too hard to accommodate that audience. It’s almost as though they are checking off a box on a task list instead of crafting a realistic character. Often the result is a persona that reads as insincere, feels false, and  is frequently over-characterized. So, it was refreshing to read a good book in which the diverse aspect of a character is simply made one cog in the complex machine of a strong individual to whom many could relate. That is, Liz Boyle. Detective. 

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What would you change?

My one small note is that it could be hard to keep track of potential suspects and various side characters. However, I think this minor complaint is negated by the fact that Birdsall does such a good job of examining and explaining the plot by the end of the novel. 

The Bottom Line

This little Cleveland-based detective novel keeps the pages turning and your mind racing as you ceaselessly evaluate the suspect list. It also fits the bill for those readers seeking diversity in fiction done well. 

Verdict: Buy It
Page Length: 256
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing (Oct 17, 2017) 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review of The Flats by Kate Birdsall. Keep scrolling for a rating breakdown and pro/con list.

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