Top critical review
18 people found this helpful
Not Really Worth Your Time!
on 29 June 2012
My brother is a big fan of Brian Freeman's books and, over time, has given me all of his books by this author, including Spilled Blood. So, rather than continue to stockpile these books, I thought I should actually start to read them. Spilled Blood is my first Freeman reading experience and, based on my overall dissatisfaction with this book, the next book I read by this author isn't going to happen any time soon.
I know my review will be "swimming against the tide" and will likely result in some negative votes, given the mainly 4 and 5 stars ratings it's received from other reviewers. But, hopefully, it will provide some people with a dissenting point of view that is helpful to them in deciding whether or not Spilled Blood is a book they will want to read.
I won't take your take time by providing a summary of the plot, as this is can be seen in the Amazon Book Description above. My opinion of the plot premise is a positive one. My displeasure stems from the author's execution of the plot and with his "dime-store" psychology behind the characters' motivations and actions.
I can't describe what I mean here without revealing some things that could be spoilers. I will say, however, that Freeman's apparent belief that his characters who either gamble excessively or crave child pornography or are forever heartbroken by the loss of a loved one suffer from addictions, and thus have to be understood for their motivations and actions, came across to me as naive, much too simplistic and a bit "soapbox-y." Further, while Freeman worked hard at trying to create complex characters, I found that, for the most part, the characters never seemed like "real" people, and as a result, I couldn't care much about what happened to them.
Beyond my opinion of the characters, I found that, with the exception of the last thirty pages or so, Freeman never allowed me, as the reader, to feel that I was actively experiencing the action as it happened. Rather, too often was the case that Freeman's created a strong sense of anticipation for an apparent action only to bring about that action in too passive a way for me. As such, when the action did finally occur it was neither very exciting nor surprising.
Finally, I found that Freeman provided so many (what I feel had to be unintentional) "tips" about who the murderous psychpath known only as "Aquarius" is that I was able to correctly guess the identity of this character after only about one-third of the way into reading the book.
All in all, unless you want nothing more from a book than to completely escape from reality for a while, and don't particularly care much about whether its plot is credible and its characters are believable, I'd suggest you read something else.