Solving Cadence Moore - Gregory Sterner

Solving Cadence Moore is the debut mystery novel from author Gregory Sterner. It follows radio DJ Charlie Marx as he puts together a six part podcast series trying to solve a decade old missing person case. It's a new take on an established genre, and a strong debut from Sterner.

Charlie Marx is a rising radio presenter, who is gaining a reputation through his conspiracy show, Underground Broadcast. His mentor, Tyler Ruebens is hoping to break into the podcast market, and thinks Charlie is the man to do it. The pair plan a special series, where they will attempt to solve the unsolvable case of the disappearance of Cadence Moore. Cadence was a singer, who had low level fame, and disappeared without a trace some ten years ago. It's a high profile case, which has never had a solution, though a recent documentary, Moore to the Story has reached their own conclusions, and taken America by storm.

There are really two stories going on in this book. There is the story of Cadence, her life and background and her disappearance, which is told through transcripts of the podcasts, and there is the story of Charlie Marx, trying to put the podcast together while he is faced with deadline issues and pressure from management. The main thing  people will pick up on is the podcasts, and the telling of the story through the transcripts. This works well, and it added a new flavour to the tried and tested recipe of mystery novels. The podcast chapter in Solving Cadence read like a crime documentary, and feel like watching a six part documentary on Netflix. It's a good way of getting all the details in, the basic facts of the case and filling the reader in on what's what. 

There are a few other aspects that set this aside from the run of the mill mystery thrillers - Charlie's under pressure to solve a decade old mystery which adds some urgency to the proceedings, and the rivalry between the Charlie and the team behind the recent documentary on the case adds some great tension in parts (the chapter where the film's directors appear on the podcast is particularly heated). There is also the fact that everyone in this book is very much unlikeable, which I've seem some reviewers claim is a negative and criticised the book for it - I would wholeheartedly disagree. The characters dont have to be likeable and dont have to make you feel good. Sterner has written some good arseholes in this book and what they lack in charm they have in depth.  

This is a strong mystery novel and a promising debut from Sterner. Any fans of mysteries will love this one.


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