Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
Time for Amazon to review their 'review' policy?
on 3 January 2013
When I choose a book by an unknown (to me) author, I check the reviews to get an idea of what to expect. This book had the best write-ups I've ever seen: 46 out of 48 reviewers gave it 5 stars, there was one 4 star and only one dissenting voice (God bless you, Mr Peterson). What should, on the face of it, have been one of the best thrillers I've ever read, turned out to be possibly the worst. This is poorly-written drivel and it is incomprehensible that it should receive so many rave notices. Having finished the book I had to return for a closer look at the reviews: they're nearly all spookily similar, using exactly the same phrases again and again. I'm not naive enough to think that an author's friends and relatives aren't going to chip in with the odd write-up to help with sales, but the scale of these glowing puffs just serves to distort the process, and makes it very difficult for the ordinary punter to judge what a book is really like.
Apart from anything else, this book would have benefited from a good editor: there are numerous spelling and grammatical errors strewn throughout, and whose idea was it to separate every paragraph with a substantial vertical gap? Even the dialogue is treated this way so it's hard to follow which character is speaking, and it can take you a moment to realise that the action has moved to a different location.
The prose consists mainly of joined-up cliches and none of the characters is very likeable, so you end up not caring what happens to them. The frequent sex scenes are a joke: they read like something a third-form schoolboy would come up with, but at least they provide something to smile about in their awfulness, which is a relief since there's precious little humour to be found elsewhere.
I can only urge prospective book-buyers to be wary of reviews in general, and to treat over-blown critiques of this book in particular with generous doses of cynicism.