Monday, July 26, 2021

Wesley Britton Review Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra's New Nick Larson Novel



Hanging Softly in the Night

Subtitle:   A Detective Nick Larson Novel

Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra 

Thrills & Kills Press (November 8, 2020)


ISBN-13: 978-0-9982574-3-3 

ISBN-10: 0-9982574-3-5 

Available at Amazon

Reviewed by Wesley Britton originally for Book Pleasures

Wesley Britton Review Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra's New Nick Larson Novel

        In this latest edition of Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra’s Lt. Detective Nick Larson series,  readers familiar with such stories will find themselves in comfortable territory encountering many typical mystery story tropes.

For one thing, our main hero, New York police detective Nick Larson is an experienced investigator with a big personal problem.   After his ex-wife committed suicide, he’s on restricted duty while he works out his pain. At first glance, he might not have been the best choice to lead an investigation of an apparent suicide by hanging.   Naturally, this death is followed by other suspicious hangings that might be related murders. Larson, along with his trusty partner, Detective Vic Sacco, along with other tried and true NYPD associates like Tish Ramos, Steve Pensig,  and  Josh Carpenter, spend most of the book trying to connect the ever-increasing accumulation of dots that should reveal, sooner or later,  the motives for the crime spree. 

The second plot is a carry-over from a previous Nick Larson story (“Mirror, Mirror”)  in which two twins are locked in a  psychopathic sibling rivalry. Creative baker Laura Howard is the good twin trying to protect herself, and ignite a relationship with Larson, while brilliant and manipulative evil twin Sandra Ward does everything she can to destroy her sister, even while incarcerated.

Distinguishing attributes of Alonso-Sierra’s story telling include a very descriptive eye,   especially for the ever-widening cast of supporting characters and vivid city settings during a cold and harsh winter. On every page, the reader feels like we’ve been taken into city dwellings, shops, office buildings, everywhere Larson has to go to investigate leads, dead-ends and witnesses from every strata of New York life. The author demonstrates a deep well of research into police procedures and medical analysis, as demonstrated by the list of acronyms at the beginning of the book. Adding to the verisimilitude, a fast, energetic pace keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end.

If you’re like me, you’ll not only get involved with the developing relationships between the leads,  you’ll want to continue the ride in the next volume of the Nick Larson saga. Without providing spoilers, not everything is resolved in Hanging Softly. We got more surprises coming and I can’t wait for the next chapters.

More About the Reviewer

Wesley Britton writes Sci-Fi. He is also a frequent reviewer for this blog, #TheNewBookReview, and


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