Friday, 7 July 2017

SQUALL by Sean Costello @SeanCostello51

3 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK
On Goodreads

How I discovered this book:  Amazon browse.  Attracted by the title (I love anything about disaster in terrible weather).  Liked the blurb, and it was free.  It's a short book, only 178 pages on Kindle.

The blurb:
Bush pilot and family man Tom Stokes is about to face the worst day of his life. On a clear winter morning, he sets out to do some repairs on a remote hunt camp, leaving his five-year-old son and very pregnant wife snug in their beds.

On the return trip, a squall forces him into an emergency landing and he winds up—quite literally—in the lap of petty criminal Dale Knight. Dale, now a fugitive from the law—and worse, from a merciless drug lord who just happens to be his brother—draws Tom into a web of mayhem and treachery that puts not only his life at risk, but the lives of his wife, son . . . and unborn child.

I quite enjoyed this.  It alternates from various points of view all the way through, which I liked, the pace is fast, the dialogue good, the characters clear and well-defined.  It didn't quite hit the spot, though; it was a nearly-but-not-quite for me as far as the storytelling itself was concerned.  There's a bit of sloppy proofreading (words like 'defuse' that should be 'diffuse') that wouldn't have bothered me if I'd really loved it.  

The story is good, and mostly well thought out, with some nicely psychopathic killers, a ruthless slapper, a likeable junkie, and, of course, the 'goodies' ~ Tom and his family.  There are some dodgy plot points, though, such as why Tom would have gone out in a flimsy plane to repair a building (that could have waited) when a severe storm was on its way, especially when it was his and his beloved son's birthday and his wife was about to give birth.  Then the whole reason why the aforementioned killers find his house - he left his wallet in the plane after it crashed into the house in which Dale was taking a bath.  Seemed completely out of character for someone so conscientious, especially considering that his license was in it, and he knew Dale was being hunted by dangerous people.  

It's like a less compelling Blake Crouch novel.  I'd try something else by this author, though.

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