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==Synopsis of the book:==
DI Andy Horton feels he is going to have a bad day when he discovers someone has damaged his Harley Davision overnight. Things don't get any better when he discovers his boss DCI Bliss has returned early from her secondment. There relationship is at best strained as she wants him out of her team and will look for any opportunity to discredit him.
Very soon DCI Bliss summons Horton into her office. Luke Felton a man recently released on licence has gone missing. He is told he must track this man who has a history of drugs and murder down. While a decomposed body is very soon found in the Harbour. Is this the missing man? Then a woman Horton met just the day before when he was looking to buy her boat is found murdered. Is there a link between this woman, the body in the water and Luke Felton's disappearance? All he knows is he needs he must get a result quickly or DCI Bliss will be kicking him out to pastures new.
==My thoughts on this novel:==
Sadly I thought this was a very average Detective story. At times I found the storyline slow and dull and I had to really push myself to carry on with it. I felt the story lacked interesting detail and the only saving grace was an exciting conclusion, but even that still did not take away a book that should have taken me about five days taking well over twelve!!
This is not my first experience of this authors work. A few months ago I read my first and I was keen to see how it compared as I don't think you can judge a writer on one book. Because for me it takes at least one novel to get used to their writing style and the characters within the story. Pauline Rowson has so far written nine novels with the majority being in the DI Andy Horton series. This book is the sixth of seven and was first published in 2011.
My reasoning for wanting to read this one was simple. I had tried one previously and wanted to see how it compared and if it was easier having already met the books main characters. I have just checked and it has taken me three years to get round to reading this second story from this series!! Well I quite enjoyed the first and I even recommended it! But for me this was doesn't compare and for me it was hard work to even finish it.
I picked this novel up once again from my local Charity Shop, they are such a good source of good inexpensive books. When I purchased it all the signs for me where good. I liked the title of the story as it was very open to many interpretations. So I turned it over to read the short summary of its story. It was just two paragraphs long but in that time it certainly wetted my appetite. I liked the idea from Horton having a bad day and his boss trying her best to get rid of him. While the concept of this missing ex-prisoner in licence opened lots of possibilities.
When I started reading the book I found it quite slow despite there being quite a bit going on!! I think the reason for this was the story lacked background information about the characters and the situations they found themselves in. I found little in inspire me despite liking the lead character and the difficult position he was in both because of his private and personal life. For me it was a little confusing and I struggled to remember some of the characters within the story, again I think this was because they were not described in enough detail or maybe not memorable enough.
I also thought the author did not help the reader by not having big enough gaps between the chapters. What she did was finish one chapter then start the next on the same page at the last. This left me feeling there was no break in the story and certainly didn't work for me as it left me feeling breathless and like there where no real breaks in the story. It was something I criticised Rowson before for and while I applaud her not wasting paper it meant for me the story was a continuous read.
The further I read in the story I kept thinking something would click and I would really get into the story and find it enjoyable. However this did not happen and while the author produced several very good and unexpected twists in the story. I still did not get into it or understand where the various stands in the story where linked and to be honest I didn't care if they where, it just wasn't fun and it was more like a hard slog to get through it/
However my patience was rewarded with a conclusion that was quite exciting. It was for the first time fast paced and it certainly took me by surprise. I certainly did not see the solution to the case and only when it was fully explained did I see the light. To credit the writer it was very cleverly thought out and I was impressed by the final twist she brought in. Sadly it did not make up for what preceded it but at least the ending left me with a pleasing conclusion to the story.
The lead character DI Andy Horton I think is a very good character. I feel I can really relate to him because he is a flawed person, so very similar to the majority of his. He is a man with many personal problems and worries he needs to solve. And while he is very good as a Detective he does not always go by the book which often lands him in hot water with his bosses. For me he would be so much more enjoyable character if the author was better at sharing his thoughts and ideas, as I feel I do not understand or know him as well as I would like.
For example the author for me could and should exploit this very poor relationship or you could say lack of relationship between Horton and his boss DCI Bliss. This would have added a human element to the story, but instead the author rarely brought this key relationship into the story. For me she really missed a trick here. Again with his relationship with his Sergeant Cantelli, it was not exploited and I found I knew little more about this Sergeant at the end of the book than I did at the beginning with the exception that he had five children.
For me the story was a lot shorter than it should have been. I would have liked a longer one with more depth about the characters and the scenes they were in. As the basic idea behind the story was very good it was just not sold very well. And as a result it was a story I never really believed in and felt much affinity with.
I do not feel this is a piece of fiction that I can hand on heart recommend. For me it was a story while well thought out lacked depth and as a result I struggled to get to know, understand and remember many of the characters within it. For me the previous story in the series I read 'Dead Man's Wharf ' was far better and this one is poor in comparison. The only saving grace was the exciting and clever conclusion to the story.
Publisher: Severn House
Year first Published: 2011
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published on both Ciao and Dooyoo under my user name.
© CPTDANIELS August 2012.