Top critical review
Could do with some polishing
on 14 May 2013
As other reviewers have written, Matt is a thoroughly dislikeable character. I don't have any problem with that, although it can get a bit wearing and the author maybe overdoes it a bit.
Matt has a past, though, so getting to the root of his drinking problem draws us in.
There are plenty of plot twists and dark revelations to keep you reading although this book is at the melodramatic end of the scale when all is said and done. I won't say too much about the sequence of events because I don't think you can without giving too much away. I would only say that if you like your endings fully explained beware. This is rather more enigmatic than many books, although leaving things up to the imagination isn't a problem for me.
I have one or two criticisms. This is clearly an early effort at writing and could do with some revision. Some of the language used by supposedly lifelong residents of a small West Country village is rather too larded with Americanisms, and the occasional overworked image intrudes rather to the detriment of the story. I'm not going to list them all but `and he crumbled to the floor like a statue made of crepe paper' is one example. It's as if the author feels he must beef up the writing when it's not necessary.
Also, I think the two mysterious sisters could do with some improvement. I can see what Chris Ward is trying to do but having two such extreme opposites doesn't quite seem to come off - at least not making it so explicit.
Overall, I found it an interesting read, but I think it could be much better if it was re-worked, becoming both scarier and more dramatic.