3.5 out of 5 stars
On Amazon UK
How I discovered this book: it was submitted to Rosie's Book Review Team, of which I am a member.
In A Nutshell: Thriller, set in Monaco and Hampshire
When I started reading this book I was at once impressed by the writing style and enjoyed reading about wealthy doctor Charles Mason and his ritzy lifestyle in Monaco; there was a certain dry humour about his observations and the narrative flowed well. There were a few minor proofreading errors which I could overlook, because I liked what I was reading.
Charles wakes up on the morning after his extravagant annual party to find that everything is not as it should be, in a big way. The book then moves to Dark Oaks, his ancestral home in rural Hampshire.
It is clear that the author knows Monaco well, and I liked reading about the lifestyle, but there is a little too much detail that is not relevant to the rest of the book. Throughout, there are long blocks of description, much of it superfluous, which is unbroken by dialogue and slows down the plot, not least of all a long paragraph describing the making of a sandwich, and a wince-making piece of exposition in which Charles has the phrase 'chop shop' explained to him, which is clearly only there to explain to the reader (I thought it unlikely that Charles would not have known what a chop shop was).
The book is basically well-written, and the plot is interesting, but the structure lets it down. The history of the family is told in backstory when Charles gets to Hampshire; an initial few chapters set in the past, at the beginning, would have set the scene much more effectively, and linked the Monaco and Hampshire sections together - once Charles got to Hampshire I felt as though I was reading a completely different story, with the sudden introduction of a number of new characters who had not been mentioned previously. To sum up, there is much to commend about this book, but I think it could use a bit more thinking through and the hand of a good content editor.
Thank you Terry.ReplyDelete