Before I start my review, I would like to thank Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and NetGalley for allowing me to review Serene by Jim Musgrave.
**All opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone. I received Serene (A Dr. Rachel E. Color-Me-Mystery) from Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) through NetGalley for free for my honest review**
Now onto my review:
Title: Serene (A Dr. Rachel E. Color-Me-Mystery)
Author: Jim Musgrave
Publisher: Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)
Date of publication: July 17th, 2016
Number of pages: 114
Part of a series: Yes
Which series: Dr. Rachel E. Color-Me-Mystery
Serene – Book 1
Standalone: Yes, is the first book in a series
Where you can find this book: Amazon
This is the mystery that establishes Dr. Rachel Edelstein as a sleuth with a super-power. Raised on an ashram in California, she is molested by Guru Bhagwan Sharma, but he pays for her college education after her parents are found dead inside a lab working on a secret experiment called “Serene.” While working as a psychiatrist in the Israeli Army, she treats two IDF soldiers who had also been members of the Omshanti ashram back home. When they are murdered in a strangely anti-Semitic way, and no DNA evidence can be found, she decides to resign her commission and return to California to try to solve the murders. After she teams up with another Jewish psychiatrist, Dr. Jacob Stein, who attends the same Kabbalah study group, she is recruited by a scientist who worked with her parents on Serene. Dr. Joshua Lawrence implants the beta test device in her brain, but instead of allowing her to control her own libido, she is able to see the sex traumas of others, in virtual movies that are displayed when they are five feet away or closer to her. When the third victim, also a Jewish veteran, is murdered, Dr. Rachel E. is able to find clues using her new psychic power from the Serene implant. The new clues lead to Dr. Lawrence, but when he is murdered, the case takes a strange twist. Evidence points to the development of The Singularity, a device that allows computers to evolve much faster than human brains, which can lead to a way to control people and entire societies through weapons, androids, and implant technology. In an exciting climax, Rachel and Jacob must track down a mysterious company that is trying to sell their new technology to the Israeli Government. Not only do they believe this company is behind the murders, but they have also connected this group to an international race to establish The Singularity and perhaps become the world’s most powerful terrorist network. This first mystery in the “Dr. Rachel E. Color-Me-a-Mystery Series” introduces you to a woman with a special analytical power that can help her solve many more cases to come.
I was intrigued by the premise of this book. It is part adult (and stress adult….the pictures in there are not safe for work or around kids) coloring book and part mystery. I made the huge mistake of leaving my Kindle on with one of the pictures up and my 11-year-old had a look. Thankfully she had no clue what it was but still…lol.
If I had the paperback (or even hardcover) of the book, I would have been totally coloring in those pictures. They looked fun to color and did go with the story.
The story, itself was also very decent. In the beginning, it was all over the place….which is something I absolutely hate in a book. But once we got past Rachel’s backstory, the story progressed very nicely and the author did a great job keeping who the bad guy a mystery until the very end.
Rachel had overcome a lot in this book. Her parents moved her to a commune when she was 10, being chosen as a “bride of passion” by the commune leader and raped when she was 12 and her parents dying at a young age. That’s a lot for a kid and she has issues (mainly in the sex area because of obvious reasons). She returns to the commune after two IDF soldiers, who just so happen to be ex-members of the same cult she was in, are murdered in horrific ways. That’s where she agrees, with the help of her own psychiatrist/lover, to become the beta tester for a project that her parents were working on when they died.
I won’t say much about the book after this point but I will say that it is full of androids, some very weird and disgusting sexual practices by so-called normal people and one woman who is just looking for answers.
I did like that the Kabbalah was mentioned here. Rachel was a student of it and the author did get into some of what it is about….but not enough. I kinda wished that he did because I find it fascinating.
The end of the book was a surprise. I wasn’t expecting the killer to be who it was and only because that person was cleared at the beginning of the book. I am pretty good at figuring out mysteries and this one I didn’t and it still chafes at me….lol.
How many stars will I give Serene? 4
Why? It is an interesting combo of adult coloring book and mystery. Just don’t read around children or at work because the coloring part is very sexual. The mystery did keep me guessing until the end.
Will I reread? Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes but with a warning about the coloring book pages.
Age range: Adult
Why? Sexual coloring pages, child rape, sexual situations, and language.