Top critical review
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Don't bother with this one
on 5 March 2015
I read Thessalonians IV by Chris Dean and loved it. On finishing it Amazon sent me a reco suggesting I might like The Lost Girls.
The book opens with Kat, a lesbian cop, having been attacked and on the threshold of gang rape. She thinks with a man's mind and speaks with a man's voice, which is distracting. A lesbian is no more a man trapped in a woman's body than a gay man is a woman trapped in a man's body: they are different products of creation. The book also juxtaposes acute jeopardy with an irritating flippancy, like a bad Bond film.
It is in a futuristic setting but our lesbian cop narrates like a hackneyed 50s P.I. I was not sure initially what genre it was supposed to be in. It seemed to be caught between Mills & Boon for boys and Sci-Fi.
In the wake of her assault Kat has a medical examination. The female doctor, who is supposed to be straight, is instantly ready to abandon her Hippocratic oath to have a girl/girl thing with Kat who, it transpires, is also second generation bionic. She subsequently meets the most fabulous escort girl who again instantly falls in love with her. This is blatant male fantasy.
Kat stops more bullets than Bonnie & Clyde, and gets blown up, but she is hardly phased by any of it. There was nothing for me to believe in; not the premise, not the characters, not the dialogue and not the action. The author is weak on details e.g. Kat takes a switchblade from a thug and it reads, "I switched it open and engaged the safety latch..." A switchblade, or flick knife as we call it in England, flicks open with the press of a button and locks open instantly. The latch is to release the blade to put it away. Jason needs to handle the thing before he writes about it. He then gets his girls to use it for cutting bonds. A switchblade is a stabbing weapon; it is crap for cutting: she might just as well have used a screwdriver.
I found much of the writing chillingly crude, for example Kat referring to her lady doctor says, "I didn't gush my pants for her." What surprised me after that vulgarity was that Jason shied away from the sex scene when the plot delivered the opportunity. How can a writer be this crude and yet at the same time too coy for a bit of rudies? I think it is those that don't understand women and sex who shy away from it, or who just spoil it with vulgarity. I'm betting Jason knows more about cricket than he does about women.
There is no realism in any direction yet the fantasy is not convincing enough to carry the reader. Also it is a great mistake for a writer who comes across as a misogynist to narrate the book in the first person as the female lead.
I had also sussed the crime and whodunit very early in the book: the plot is so thin it was impossible not to. What a waste of time...