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Betrayed in the Nith
Reviewed in issue:
The cover of the book promises a crime thriller merged with a romantic novel set in a future Britain. Sadly the novel simply doesn't deliver in either genre. The crime element is thin and loses focus fairly quickly, whilst the romance falls short as the author fails to build empathy with the lead characters. The main reason for this is the style in which the novel has been written. It takes the stance of being withdrawn from the plot and delivers a 'reporter-style prose which simply fails to draw the reader in.
This is not helped by the author's tendency to use lists, especially when referring to music. All too frequently we are told, in order, the music that is being listened to or played. Likewise, the book is littered with irrelevant information that has no bearing on the plot nor does it serve to fuel the reader's imagination. One of the biggest issues though is the way the author has handled conversation.
Throughout we are faced with trying to work out who is talking as there are pages of text with no indication of which character is speaking. Similarly, the style is to merely 'report' what is being said and no effort has been made to build emotion or describe body language or the surroundings. As a result, conversations are cold and difficult to read. A look at the author's bio suggest the reason for this; he has created a number of scripts and, in fact, Betrayed in The Nith has the feel of a script that has been hurriedly converted to a novel. Not one I'd recommend unless you want to learn from the writer's mistakes.