Monday, April 4, 2011

The Abbey - Chris Culver

This is one of those books that starts out on a really hard note and sucks you into its confusion.  I started reading this book on a Friday night after a marathon cookie making session for a church function.  I finished the cookies about 30 minutes after midnight and went to bed, except I didn't fall asleep, I started The Abbey.  I don't think I stopped until after 2 a.m. when my husband came to bed and made me stop reading.

Ashraf Rashid is a detective with the IMPD.  I assume that since the story takes place in Indianapolis, this stands for Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.  Ash is a dark character who tries desperately to shine only light on his family while still doing his job as a detective.

The book opens with Ash delivering a next of kin notification despite being permanently assigned to the District Prosecutor's Office.  Ash has signed up for this particular task after his teenage niece was discovered dead at the home of her boyfriend.  Throughout the beginning pages of the book, the help that Ash provides the homicide unit is welcomed and he teams up with his former parter, Olivia.

When a new lead detective takes over the case after another child turns up dead, Ash's help is no longer welcome.  Ash continually goes behind the lead detective's back and eventually finds himself mixed up with drug dealers, top city gangsters, scientists, a club where the patrons think they are vampires, and things that he can't seem to make sense of.

I struggle to write a coherent review of this book because I was confused throughout the entire story, never having enough information to understand the motives of the characters.  The only reason that this seems to be okay is that Ash doesn't have any of the missing information either, so the reader is left as confused as the main character.  Part of my compulsion to read this story was to lift the foggy confusion from my brain.

I really thought that the author, Chris Culver, had read one too many vampire stories and felt the need to get in on the action.  This does not seem to be his intention however.  He seems to be using the vampire theme in small doses to bring current popular culture to his story while also seemingly poking fun at groups who act like and perhaps even believe they are vampires.

There were a few minor errors in the books editing that made the story read not quite as smoothly as it should have, at least for someone who takes note of these things.  Missing periods came up a few times, commas in the wrong spots, and even a typo that read smell instead of small.  Nothing so bad that it made the book unreadable, it just needs to be edited paying closer attention to details.

According to Culver, he plans on having another Ash Rashid story out in the fall of this year and its one that I am planning on purchasing.  


  1. Seems like you liked it despite being confusing, but would you recommend we read it?

  2. I would recommend this book, if you like police crime novels. If this genre book isn't your style, chances are you aren't going to like it no matter how much I enjoyed it! I truly am looking forward to the next Ash Rashid novel by Culver. Hope he lives up to his fall 2011 release.

  3. Sheila Clubb6/16/11, 8:01 PM

    I have just finished reading this book tonight! I enjoyed Ash Rashid very much. I am a huge JA Jance fan & JP Beaumont is one of my most favorite characters. I hope that the next book of Chris Culver is as interesting as his first.

  4. I agree with the above . I really do love police crime novels, And this one did not dissapoint. For a Debut book I thought it was great . Knowing another is on its way in the fall I will certauinly buy it. Im sure his next will only get better & Better.

  5. I am just now reading The Abbey. I bought it because it was a crime mystery novel and because it was based in Indianapolis which I have called home for 3 decades. The story is confusing and disjointed and is full of either errors or artistic license. Culver should have reached the city its landmarks, geography, etc more thoroughly before turning it in to his editor . For example he talks about 465 interstate being "75 mile loop around the city" when it is only 54 miles and the wealthy norteast suburb is Fishers, not Fischers. I'm sure I will find more to coomment on as I continue to read .

  6. I just finished reading "The Abbey" and I loved the book. I read the entire book in less than 24 hours. I downloaded the book yesterday afternoon and finished it this afternoon. I thought the book was great.

  7. I just finished the Abby and I have to say this was a great book. I started this morning and couldn't put it down til the end. Chris is a great writer and I look forward to reading many more of her books!

  8. I read the book and felt it was a great read, action packed and with an interesting main character ASh Rashid. I live in the UK and it was a refreshing to read about a main character with some culture attached to it. I look forward to the next book :o)


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