A Shot of Brandi by David S. Tanz

Copyright 2011


Review by Chuck Rounds


A Shot of Brandi, by David S. Tanz, is the story of Rick Grosse, who is a somewhat small time criminal that has a problem with his partner which elevates him to a murderer, which propels him to additional murders, while musing over the love that he lost. It is additionally the story of a small time detective, Stephen Davis, who is trying to solve the cases that are thrown into his path by Rick. The book has its elements of crime, mobsters, and lovers.


The premise of the book is ok, and the twist at the end is rather clever, but all in all, the book fails because none of the primary characters are actually likeable. There is really no one for which the reader to root. We want to align ourselves with someone, but the lack of depth never allows us to do that. Every time we almost get close to one of the characters, the person then does something in a counter intuitive way that pulls us out of the moment, and we once again don’t care for that person.


Tanz misses some major opportunities…the vacation that Rick and Abbey take is a tremendous chance to really develop these characters, but instead it turns into a laundry list of activities, and the moment is lost. The same thing occurs with the detective.


There are a couple of other stupid things that pulled me out of the enjoyment of the book. One is sloppy proofreading…certainly the book went through a spell check, but “the” was substituted for “they” on more than one occasion as well as other mistakes of the same ilk. Additionally, a “prologue” is want comes before the story, and the “epilogue” is what comes after…just saying…


As Tanz, hopefully, works on his second novel, the maturity in his writing should start to emerge. Tanz has some great potential, but needs to flesh out his characters.