Top critical review
Disappointing, more a game plan than a novel
on 14 February 2015
I was very disappointed with this book. The plot was excellent and fast paced, but there were so many twists and turns it became confusing, possibly because many of the characters were insufficiently described and it was hard to get a picture of them. Physical characteristics are not enough. I found it hard to empathize with the main character. Devlin was written in the first person, presumably to allow access to his thinking process. A first person viewpoint should give a clear understanding of the character's motives and behaviour as the story unfolds. However in this case the viewpoint was something of a stumbling block. Other characters could only report back, so information came at second hand without any exciting details. Devlin did not live up to expectations although some effort was made to make him human, with human foibles, but somehow it seemed forced, a sort of add in. He did not seem intelligent enough for the role. He came across as inefficient, possibly corrupt and with a taste for violence. Not great qualities, I could not like him, or care what happened to him.
The beginning was excellent, but the rest of the book, despite its complexity, became dull and exasperating. There appeared to be a certain lack of logic and clear thinking throughout. For example why did he decide to shoot Frank (his dog) - surely a humane person would have taken him to a rescue centre to be homed in a city if he was a sheep killer. The effect on his daughter, who he claimed to love, would have been devastating. This was one inconsistency too many. He seemed unreal as did the work of the Guarda. Police procedurals should have some procedure surely. This was shambolic. Sudden bursts of violence appeared at regular intervals (for no particular reason) as though the writer was working to a pattern. The summary at the end was presumably to clear up the outstanding points in the plot, which in itself could have been good had there been more emphasis on character and clarity in the writing. I shall not read this author again.