A review of “Unbalanced” by Jason Parent

Full Disclosure – I was provided a copy of the book by the author or their representative, however, have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.

Unbalanced is scheduled for an April 5 2022 release.

Through the eyes of an unstable mind

Detective Asante Royo has seen more than his share of crime scenes. Having worked with the Fall River PD for many years, he is no stranger to the troubles plaguing his city. When he and his partner are called to the scene of an apparent suicide in an apartment complex known for its seedy characters and even seedier deeds, something does not sit well with him. The scene is too clean, possibly staged but with the ME ruling the death as a suicide, the case is quickly closed, and life goes on.  Fast forward 8 months later, and Royo and Costa are called to the same complex where the tenant across the hall has now killed three people in an apparent home invasion. Is Jaden Sanders a hero, or a murderer? Royo attempts to unravel the pieces but keeps getting called back to the case from eight months prior. While on the surface, the cases seem to be worlds apart, but the more the detective digs the more the pieces start to fall together. With Sanders showing signs of serious mental illness and with all evidence pointing to him as the perpetrator in not only his case, but the suicide case from almost a year earlier, Royo and Costa begin to see that this puzzle may have more pieces than they have ever imagined.

Unbalanced is the newest book by author Jason Parent and is the third title that I have read by this author. After having previously read and enjoyed They Feed, and The Apocalypse Strain I was eager to jump into another title by Parent. Unbalanced, is nothing like the other titles that I have read. Where They Feed had a classic horror, things that go bump . . cabin in the woods sort of feel, and Apocalypse Strain delving into a viral outbreak at a research center, Unbalanced can loosely be considered a “police procedural”. But even attempting to categorize Unbalanced into a genre it still takes that label and turns it inside out. While most police-type books focus mainly on the case, the suspects, and the act of sussing out and nabbing the bad guy no thought is ever given to the legal side of the process. Parent has included this as an almost seamless portion of the narrative and this approach was refreshing and enhanced the story. I found myself looking forward to the courtroom scenes almost as much if not more than Royo and Costa’s continued attempts to uncover the truth. For those who are looking for a fast-moving police thriller unlike anything you have ever read before, Unbalanced would be a great title for you. And with this third title by Jason Parent under my belt, I am looking forward to reading more that this diversely talented author has to offer.

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