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Chop Suey by Ty Hutchinson
on 12 July 2011
I received this book as a member giveaway from Librarything.com and, I have to say, I was really impressed. It is a complex thriller set in San Francisco and Hong Kong and follows the exploits of IT salesman, Darby Stansfield, as he attempts to sell IT services to a Triad gang. Interwoven with this, a serial killer is on the loose and Darby is in his way.
Darby Stansfield is a likeable buffoon who overestimates his own abilities, is startingly naive, and gets himself into all sorts of pickles. Luckily he has his level-headed best friend, Tav, and police chief girlfriend, Leslie, to help him out. The reader can't help but like his bull-in-a-china-shop approach to life and that he sees the good in everyone from gang leaders to serial killers.
The style of writing is good. It is humorous and entertaining and full of twists and turns. I like that the author switches between 1st and 3rd person narrative. This means that the reader knows things that Darby doesn't and has us shouting 'noooo' at him as he bungles into more danger.
My one criticism of the book is the standard of proofreading. Running a spellcheck is not enough - there were countless sentences with words missing or duplicated or just using wrong words. A really good proofread and some editing adjustments would make this book great and then I would definitely give it 4 stars.
This is an impressive debut and I hope the author goes on to great success with Darby Stansfield.