- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 612 KB
- Print Length: 262 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01F6ET3Q6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #764,646 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Blue Ridge Project: A Dark Suspense Novel (The Project Book 1) Kindle Edition
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This is a complicated and cleverly thought out thriller with three main strands that come together smoothly; it's a jolly good plot, original and unusual. Murders, evil politicians, psychosis, mind control, dark secrets from the past—it's got the lot. I wasn't quite sure at first, it just seemed like another forgettable crime suspense thriller type book, fairly readable but not that memorable, but then at about 25% it suddenly got more interesting, and I started to get seriously into it about half way through. There's a well placed 'before' section that explains how all the situations you read about first have come about; the planning gets a tick from me.
Two things made this book not work as well as it might have done, for me. One was the characterisation, or lack of it. Most of the characters remained one dimensional, their dialogue mostly used as a vehicle for the plot, and with little insight into their heads. The exception to this is main character Robert, who I could 'see' a bit more than the others (and psycho Lyons was good, too), but female cop Andrea was a man in all but name (why is it than women writers can usually write men better than male writers can write women?). Because there were so many characters and they didn't walk out of the page and into my imagination, I sometimes got confused with who each one was. Even when the plot is the star of the show, if you don't connect with the characters you don't care what happens to them. I'd also be tempted to trim the cast list down.
My other minor complaint is that I thought the book could do with final proofread, and another edit. Example: 'She pushed open a door to reveal a spacious lounge. There were two comfortable-looking brown-leather chairs across from each other with a small, round, wooden table held up by a wooden sphere, instead of legs, that had been carved and polished with great care, and a round, flat piece of wood for the table top.' This would have been much more succinctly written as 'In the spacious lounge stood two comfortable looking brown leather chairs separated by a small, immaculately carved and polished, wooden table.' You don't need to know that the doctor pushed open the door before she and Andrea walked into the room (let it be presumed), and maybe we don't need to know about the plinth, either. This one just jumped out at me but there were a few similar. I only put this in detail because at the end of the book the author has expressed the desire for feedback via reviews.
Having said all this, I would still recommend The Blue Ridge Project, and the author has a good handle on suspense; it kept me interested and I wasn't tempted to abandon or skip read. I gather this is Rochford's first novel; I am sure he will iron out his debut novelist dodgy bits, as most do.
There are several, equally compelling, threads to the storyline and when these and the characters in each connect, the depth and breadth of the conspiracy and its chilling potential comes to light in a gripping climax.
I'll be patiently (not so much) awaiting the sequel as I'm sure there is yet more suspense-filled events just around the corner.
*Please note: the author provided me with a copy of the book for a fair and unbiased review.*
A very strong opening chapter that hooked the reader in. The characters were introduced gradually, which gave you a chance to get to know them individually. There were a lot of references to an incident involving the Captain’s daughter in the past, so this made me wonder if the book was a sequel. Lots of different strands to the plot, which, initially I wasn’t sure how would all fit together.
The strands did all come together and were done expertly so.
I really enjoyed The Blue Ridge Project and would definitely read more by Neil Rochford.
Rochford’s talents are on full display throughout this book and they need to be as he chose an elaborate and most likely difficult to write story structure. The prologue is placed two days before the start of the novel (nothing unique there) and then the entire first part catches the reader up to that moment. From there, Rochford takes us on a ride to the past in the second part to grant us answers to questions that his first part provoked. The third part brings the whole story back to the moment for the grand finale. In the hands of a lesser writer this structure could easily become a jumbled mess but Rochford handles it amazingly well.
There are three main characters in the story that each in their own way draw the reader into the mystery that is slowly building. Two of the three were done exceptionally well, but the third—Frank—did not really connect for me. Given how the story unfolds though it becomes clear that this is by design and not by omission.
The story takes place in what I assume to be an alternate reality setting as I’m not aware of any Beacon City or New Zion in our world. Rochford manages to infuse this world with a grittiness that was reminiscent of black and white police dramas and pulled it off to dreadful effect—with descriptions that are descriptive without being overly wordy.
As with all great mysteries, Rochford compels the reader to carry on reading by giving away very little throughout the book. More than once I pondered on just what the Blue Ridge Project was as I raced through the pages. I become so engrossed in this narrative that I literally jumped out of my seat once when my doorbell rang! That is the mark of a great novel—one that allows you to escape fully into its world.
I refuse to give anything of this story away, so it will not be spoiled for future readers, but will just say that there is a twist somewhere past the middle that, in keeping with the tradition of great mysteries, I did not see coming and absolutely loved. In The Blue Ridge Project, Neil Rochford has crafted a story on par with the best of Denis Lehane in my humble opinion.
A page turner among page turners, the last 20-25% of the novel is unputdownable. This section does have some noticeable typos, extra words, or missing words, but not enough to break the trance that you’re in by then.
A definite 5 star read that I will read again and again. Please Mr. Rochford, bring on the next in the series!!
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