Top positive review
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WELL PLOTTED, WELL-WRITTEN BUT ....
on 25 November 2014
This is an extremely complicated plot with the main protagonist, André Lemoine, working as a scientist for a company involved in HIV research. His is a race against time as he attempts to find a cure for his adopted son, Eban, whose entire tribe has been wiped out by the disease. Add a brother who is a sophisticated and successful jewel thief, another who is a priest with a dark secret and several contenders for the prestigious Gifford Prize, all being systematically knocked out of the competition by a ruthless killer and you have a complex tale. John Matthews pulls it off, however ….
Lemoine is an over-excitable, neurotic whose sensitivities threaten to swamp the book – I found myself losing all patience with his posturing on more than one occasion. Then there’s the medical jargon – if you have a degree in medicine then this book is for you, otherwise you might find yourself skipping whole pages to get back to the storyline. It also has what is becoming JM’s trademark – incorrect spelling and mistakes throughout. He tells us he’s a journalist and editor but clearly doesn’t seem to apply these skills to his own books. More annoying than anything else.
That said, I’m a great fan of JM. ‘ Past Imperfect’ was brilliant. But the 4 stars I’ve awarded were more for the skilful plotting and writing than the oft implausible characters.