Full disclosure – I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the author or their representative but have voluntarily provided a review.
What happened to Cadence?
She was young, beautiful, and talented. A star whose meteoric rise to fame was unprecedented, but in the blink of an eye, she was gone. Vanished without a trace, Cadence Moore has not been seen for almost twenty years. Many theories and exposes have been written over the years, but does anyone know the truth? Maverick podcast host Charlie Marx puts everything on the line as he sets out to solve the unsolvable. Employing unscrupulous and often unconventional means, Marx practically lies, cheats, and steals to bring this decades-old cold case to a close. With everything hanging in the balance he sets out on a collision course with destiny. The only question is when the live special is done, will Cadence Moore’s disappearance be clarified or will this all have just been a huge publicity stunt.
Solving Cadence Moore is the debut novel by author Gregory Sterner and the overall novel is written in a style that I have never experienced before. The narrative centers around bombastic podcast host Charlie Marx as he orchestrates and produces a “tell-all” series of podcasts surrounding the mysterious disappearance of a young singer in her prime. With the bulk of the narrative consisting of accounts of conversations between Marx, his producer, various interviews with the major players and witnesses in the Cadence Moore events, and even the transcripts of the “podcasts” themselves; at times I felt a bit overwhelmed with the information. When this happened, I decided that instead of reading in large chunks or marathon sittings I would read in episodes … treating each section or “podcast” as a stand-alone read, putting the book aside for a few days or even weeks and then returning for a new update in the storyline. Reading in this manner had me taking longer than usual to complete the book, but in this instance, I think It worked to keep my attention and not become completely burned out on the unfamiliar style. As a novel with a subject and a method of delivery that could very well be something taking place in the present time, I think that also added an element to the story that made Cadences story seem more real, and I would be lying to say that I was not secretly waiting for some final chapter or final sentence suggestion or reveal that would leave the reader stunned and wanting more. Even with that wishful element missing, however, Solving Cadence Moore was an enjoyable read. If you like a unique writing style, over the top characters, and a plot that could have been ripped from today’s headlines, I recommend Sterner’s debut novel and I am also looking forward to reading future books from this author.