Book Review: The Scene (Dylan Hart, Odyssey of the Occult, #1) by R. M. Gilmore

© Mac Gille Mhur Publishing, 2012.


“WARNING: Excessive Sarcasm & Adult Language

Irreverent, twenty-something journalist, Dylan Hart, is not your average heroine. With a big butt and an even bigger mouth, she has her work cut out for her when she decides to cash-in on the blood-drained bodies of seven prostitutes scattered throughout southern California.

In an attempt to write her first bestselling novel and pay off her ever-growing student debt, Dylan begins the search for the culprit of the media-dubbed Vampire Massacres, diving head first into L.A.’s sanguinary ‘vampire’ subculture. Before long, Dylan finds herself tits deep in plastic fangs, velvet capes, and hooker corpses. Plastic or not, those fangs are razor sharp and out for blood, nosy journalist blood.

With her best friend in tow, and two contrasting boy-babes at her heels, the crew is pulled into an all too real sanguinarian lifestyle and dragged them through a bloody good mystery. Horrible pun intended.” (Source: Goodreads)


Before I delve into the meat of my review of R. M. Gilmore’s The Scene, it’s worth noting I am reviewing an earlier edition. The Scene‘s latest edition releases next week. Revisions included. Unless the book is self-published, I try not to judge too harshly on the editing. With my copy being an older edition, I have set aside my thoughts regarding editing for this review.

Dylan Hart is not your typical female protagonist. She’s not drop-dead gorgeous, she’s not a size two, and she does not act like a lady. In fact, Dylan Hart is probably my spirit animal, for lack of a better word. She’s snarky, witty, and quite frankly, she doesn’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. Unless you’re a tall, dark, and handsome man with beautiful green eyes. But then… who wouldn’t drool over an underwear model? God knows I would.

When bodies start turning up, the young, wannabe author sets out to research her material and aide her friend and ex-boyfriend, Mike, in bringing the case to a close. Thus readers are drawn along in an unexpectedly dark mystery with some pretty damn sharp twists.

First and foremost, I must applaud Gilmore’s ability to create a uniquely amusing character, realistic, and relatable character. Dylan Hart’s spunkiness rivals my own and there are several times where Dylan takes words straight out of my mouth for a situation. Another sign of Gilmore’s mastery over her craft, and a glaringly bright link to how closely she holds Dylan to her own heart, surfaces in the ways Dylan reacts to certain situations. For instance, without divulging a spoiler, there is a place in The Scene where Dylan must combat her own fears to identify a corpse for Mike. In the pages leading up to this, I can honestly say I wanted to message R. M. Gilmore and throttle her for pumping my anxiety so high. (Seriously, I almost had to scrounge for my hydroxyzine, woman.) The aforementioned scene isn’t the only one where Gilmore’s done this.

Unfortunately, there are times when the story does drag a little. Overall, The Scene is fun romp through Los Angeles’s nightscape, told from the point of view of an average woman. It is this refreshing point-of-view that makes this book enjoyable. Seriously, Dylan Hart alone earns this book four skulls.


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