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Doesn't seem to have been mostly written by John Sandford!
on 13 January 2014
I don't generally like to leave tepid or negative reviews but I think so highly of John Sandford - I've read all his Prey and Virgil Flowers novels and have found them all to be 5* reads - that I can't bear to see him diluting the quality of his work by apparently co-writing his novels with other authors.
No other author appears on the cover and it's not quite clear from the few words before the story starts what 'help' exactly - research? writing? - he was given by Michele Cook, whom he credits. He's acknowledged 'help' before from people who would probably have been experts in police procedure and so on. But this book is such a tremendous fall-off in form in every way - writing style, plot, credibility, humour, even basic common sense - that I find it hard to believe that the same John Sandford who wrote the other books wrote this one on his own.
In any other field than publishing, I wonder whether this would be considered as 'passing off' and in the UK, against the Trades Descriptions Act. All sorts of things in publishing are weird but if I'm buying a novel with 'John Sandford' on the cover, I want him to have written it. If he hasn't, I'd like him and his publishers to be honest with me and put the names of all of the authors on the cover. Then I'll make my own mind up about whether I want to buy it, as is my right.
I gather that Mr Sandford is now aiming to publish both a Prey novel and a Virgil Flowers novel a year and maybe that's why he's sought a co-author but I'd rather buy a good quality book once a year than not buy a disappointing book twice a year.
If it's pressure from his publisher that's driving this I think they're making a mistake.
Please, Mr Sandford, it's you I want to read!