REVIEW - Bad Company: From the Casefiles of Detective 'Mal" Malone (Jen Schoenbein)

Bad Company"Proof that your eggs don’t always have to age to perfection."
RainHand Rating:
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(Review appearing for the first time on!)
Bad Company, being written from the perspective of a P.I.’s case files, is a hard-boiled private-eye story, but I wouldn’t call it noir. That’s what makes it unique really, since you can have your eggs without the Double Indemnity aftertaste if you so choose.

Our first person heroine has a lot on her plate, and the story balances well while leading us on a thorough, twisted chain of coffee-soaked circumstances to develop it all. There’s action, romance (for better or for worse), regret, sorrow, and a hot fire of vengeance. It keeps you moving too, which is important for a first person story so as not to bog the reader down in too much stream of consciousness from our narrator.

From a constructive standpoint, I can say that I wasn’t surprised to find out that this is the author’s first foray. There are some unrefined bits in the dialogue, structure, and descriptiveness that sometimes prevented me from forming a good image of what was going on in my head. Rather than crippling, however, I see it as an opportunity for the author’s development over time. Readers, there be promise in these urban waters! (yarrrr and all that)

I’m not sure it counts as a fair criticism because it’s quite possible the culprit is unintentionally technical in nature, but my copy of this book was very poorly formatted. Page numbers and the author’s name constantly popping up in the middle of the page, word wrap drastically different on some pages than others, awkward breaks, no indentation to mark paragraphs, too much space between lines, so forth. I don’t own a kindle and I was only able to obtain a copy of this book in Amazon’s proprietary ‘mobi’ format (which I’m told is in itself twice outdated, first in favor of .az3, and later .kfx), so that might have been the reason why, although a quick .epub swap didn’t help. I didn’t factor this into my rating, but I felt it should be noted.

If P.I. drama is your thing, I say give this one a chance.

About the Author: Jen Schoenbein lives in the Midwest with her husband, teenage daughter, Puck the dog and Willow the cat. She is an amateur violinist, an herbalist, hobby painter, gardener, and crafter. She enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors and breaking rules wherever possible. Jen owes her nomadic tendencies to growing up as an Air Force brat. She loves to travel far and often. Immersing herself in other cultures allows her to bring other landscapes onto page to share with her readers
('About' info reprinted from