HABIT by T. J. Brearton

habitInteresting take on the demon-haunted investigator and the current crime he is investigating.

This investigator studied the biology of the brain, particularly, how we formed habits, did things routinely, everything from muscle memory to the basal ganglia.  He tells us several times, all habits could be broken down into a simple equation:  cue, routine, reward, and that genetic precursors have a lot to do with why a person starts down the path of this or that habit.   Habits take root in one of the most ancient areas of the brain. Habits are rudimentary.  No species is immune.

OK, so now that you have a primer on habits, what does all this have to do with the book?  I am still not sure.

But it was a good mystery thriller.  It starts out with a woman found murdered in her bed in a remote farmhouse in the leatherstocking area of New York state.   I don’t want to get too far into the plot because I want you to read it.  But it has to do with the ‘escort’ industry, and the big wigs running the industry and how they recruit the women working in it and how they keep them working in it.  Kind of like the Roach Motel.  You can enter, but you cannot leave.

Actually, I tend to prefer murder mysteries that are personal — that is, the murderee is murdered for a personal reason of the murderer.  This one had more to do with a large, shall I say, conspiracy, and the threads of this whole deal will apparently carry on into the next two books in the series, which I will not be reading.

Very good writing, although lots of people complained of the usual troubles with e-books:  poor editing, etc.  But one thing about e-books.  The author can continue to edit them, and eventually you get a pretty clean version, and I read a clean version, so have no nits to pick in that regard.

Oh, yeah.  Leatherstocking region. The Central New York Region is  known as Leatherstocking Country, a term used by the New York State Department of Economic Development to broadly describe the central region of upstate New York State for tourism purposes.  The region roughly corresponds to the Mohawk and upper Susquehanna valleys. It is one of two partially overlapping regions that identify as Central New York, the other being the Syracuse metropolitan area.

I had to look it up.  I suspected it had to do with James Fenimore Cooper’s Natty Bumpo in Leatherstocking Tales,  which was set in this region.  I can never think of this area of the country except in terms of vibrant fall foliage. I can’t quite picture it in summer or winter.


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