Standing Too Soon; a novel by Jeffrey Massey

Cover of Standing Too Soon

Standing Too Soon
| Published May 12, 2014 |

By Lisa K. Whitten
Thursday Review contributor

This would have been a quick, smooth read but that was not to be case--the frequent misspellings, grammatical glitches and incorrect use of words slowed me down in some places.

The author, Jeffery W. Massey, could haved used an editor, or two. (A frequent problem with self-published books; an outside set of eyes always helps to cull out the errors and smooth out the wrinkles).

Having said that: the storyline kept my attention and it was, in fact, hard to put this novel down. It begins with the main character, Brook Miller, vacationing in New Orleans. He receives word that his best friend since childhood, Josh Mackintosh, is near death after a botched robbery attempt. Brook returns home to Alabama and has to face his father. This part of the story hints at a rift but it never really develops, nor is the conflict fully resolved.

Brook is no saint himself, and we learn that he has spent some time in prison and he has connections with some shady characters. After a phone call from one such individual, he finds himself with more information than he wants and is caught up in trying to find out who attempted to murder Josh, and why. He also runs into Josh's sister-in-law, Anna, after returning to Alabama and begins to see her with different eyes. They develop a relationship through the story.

He makes a trip to Florida to the restaurant he owns jointly with Josh to prepare for the Fourth of July crowds. While there he has a visitor from his past that may be connected to Josh's near murder. Then, with the restaurant under control Brook returns to Alabama. Brook's contact for information on the break-in and attempted murder calls and insists they go talk to a someone that has information on the attempted murder of Josh. Brook reluctantly agrees to go, and here the book begins its descent into darkness.

Up until the downward spiral I came to like Brook and was glad that he began a relationship with Anna. I wanted him to stop and not go down that path of darkness. The story then seems to deviate from the original plot and enter into a new story involving other people from Brook's past. The ending, for me, was disturbing and left me with unanswered questions. I can only surmise that the author may be planning a sequel to make things right.

Massey has created a highly engaging story which keeps you turning the pages in anticipation of what is next. If I were giving out stars I would give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars; it could be a 4 or better if spellings and grammar are corrected in future printings or editions.

For more information about Jeffrey Massey go to his facebook page.