Top critical review
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A predictable struggle
on 7 June 2012
If you like Victorian potboilers and 19th C prose, you might like this. But for me the writing was far too prolix and discursive. The author loves words and he heaps up the metaphors like a multi-layered chocolate cake. After a while it becomes wearisome. In his enthusiasm oxymorons creep in: 'the knife was blunted but keen'. Characters who know a scene describe it to one another so it sounds like Granny sucking eggs. Eventually, you want to shout "get on with the story!" It doesn't end there.
There are mountains of back story to recount which holds back the action. Every now and then the author has a burst of writing that speeds up the events and grips. Not for long; another back story emerges with more overly rich writing. Thanks to Kindle I can say the denouement occupies the last 15 per cent of the book with yet more excursions into back stories. By now, you've worked it all out and for many readers earlier in the tale.
Some of the writing is very good and well observed but he is a little over in love with his own voice and we feel it. We don't need to be told this is a psychological thriller with crime, mystery and suspense. We hapless readers can work that out for ourselves.
So in summary this is story that doesn't satisfy. Overburdened with description, tautology and back story, it strangles itself.
The author says he reads all these comments. He is a good writer but, in a yarn like this, he needs to write more sparingly and avoid those inderminably long back stories. Less is more.