Twist on a common whodunit
The opening was intriguing, with colorful characters brought to life by the skill of the writing. I enjoyed the banter between them...for a while. I'll get back to that.
There's a lot of references to famous plays and/or movies and actors, which added a realism that I liked. The plot moved along at a nice pace, until closer to the middle of the book. It was as if the authors weren't quite certain how to maintain the momentum and still fill in enough to make a book. Perhaps because there were so many characters that needed time in the story, so much so that something was a little lost.
That's also where the dialogue got a bit tedious. No variation, except to start lacing their conversations with a lot of swearing. To me that detracted from the creative dialogue in the beginning of the book. If it had to do with the fear they were feeling (which was lacking), I'd get that, but it seemed as if these people just suddenly went from speaking witty to swearing at every moment.
Also, the blurb for the book states that these thespians are trapped in the theater and need to find a way out before "falling victim to a deranged killer". This led me to think that this was more than just a mystery, rather a murder mystery, yet there appears to be more discussion over the dislike of one of the characters than there is concern over being trapped or attempts to escape, or even fear for their lives. I mean there are moments when a character will say something like "I wonder if I can get that window to open. Maybe I should come back with some tools, although I'm not sure they'll help. Maybe a crowbar." (See what I mean about lacking a traumatic fear of being trapped?). When he leaves, his companions start trash talking him. "I hate that man" etc. Where is the trauma that these people should feel over being locked in this theater? Why isn't there more urgency? Perhaps it's because no one has died to this point? Even though there is supposed to be a "deranged killer" afoot?
I'm three-quarters into the book and it's now become repetitious -- calmly discussing how to escape, trash-talking the other thespian (that's really wearing on the nerves at this point. We get it, he's a "jerk"), and the calm dialogue that belies the sense of danger that should permeate the air.
Example, one character states that he's upset that he still can't remove the metal plate from the window (surprisingly, no swearing at this pronouncement, but then again he isn't scared enough I guess). Then two other characters decide to start discussing an old movie entitled "The Misfits" (two and a half pages worth). From there it keeps going downhill. A spotlight falls and nearly kills one individual, but the person almost killed and someone else -- and then another -- discuss it as if it was a mild fender bender. I could go on and on.
It wasn't a poorly written book, mechanically, and the story really did have potential, but what started off as intriguing and entertaining didn't stay that way. Sadly. Super potential here.