* Prices may differ from that shown
I was looking for a new author to review and one of my friends told me to try Jane A. Adams. I like to try different authors and having read a very interesting introduction I was confident I would like enjoy reading this book.
About the author:
Jane A. Adams was born and still lives in her home town of Leicester in 1960. She is a woman of many talents, as she is not only a successful crime writer but also an artist and a photographer as well. Amongst her previous jobs was a lead vocalist in a folk band. This is her fourth novel featuring Naomi Blake as her star.
Synopsis of the book:
The death of Rupert Friedman the Uncle of Alec brought Naomi and her boyfriend Alec up to Fallowfields for the funeral. The dead man was the Black Sheep of the family, who fell out with Alec's Dad many years previously. He was a bit of a maverick who was involved in the antiques business.
At the funeral his business partner Marcus suggests that Rupert death was somewhat suspicious and tried to encourage Alec with his Police skills and Naomi being ex-Police to look into the matter and discover the truth.
Alec is the main beneficiary of his Uncle's sizable estate. While he is out Naomi and her guide dog Napoleon are visited by a pair of thugs who break in. She manages to lock herself and the dog in the study and call the Police. The men say they want the money Rupert owes them before disappearing. This encourages Naomi and Alec to investigate and try to get to the bottom of Rupert's colourful life.
My thoughts on the book:
The reason I picked up this book was basically because of a fascinating introduction on the inside cover of the book. I really liked the concept of Naomi investigating this case with her being blind. It seemed such a different idea and one I was interested to explore in more depth.
So I would say my expectations were quite high for the novel through a well written and intriguing review. However overall I was quite disappointed with the book despite in my opinion a promising start to it. I found the concluding chapters a total anti-climax with a lack of depth and thought.
Let me start with the storyline itself, it in the main appealed to me. The idea of this charismatic and mystery uncle's sudden death and his nephew and his girlfriend investigating it appealed to me. And the secrets they need to uncover to discover the truth about this man's personal and business life.
The story seemed to tick along quite nicely. With the odd violent incident to keep the reader interested. I liked the characters the author introduced to aid in the investigation. She seemed to bring them in earlier enough so that we could learn a lot about them and to develop their characteristics.
The book was written in such as way you always knew who the bad guys were as you were privy to their planning. This meant there were no real surprises and while this was quite annoying it did however allow the focus to switch to the investigation into Rupert's life and for the team to try and put the hidden pieces into some logical order to get to the truth.
I certainly enjoyed the early chapters of the book. In particular the way the author wrote from a blind person's perspective was illuminating and skilfully done. Showing me the assumptions people can and do make and how difficult it is for them to live a normal life.
However, half way through the novel the author seemed too involved in the storyline and what was going on to mention Naomi's view on life. This for me was a great disappointment and a shame as I think it would have been a far better book for it, as Naomi is such a likeable and fascinating character.
I would have really liked to have her perspective the whole way through as she was such an engaging character. Early on so well written about later on only briefly mentioned in the piece I feel that was a big mistake.
The other main characters were all good and well scripted. Initially I thought it was good she brought her friends into the investigation. But later when it focused more on them and no matter how good they were and how different they were they for me not as interesting as Naomi.
I found throughout the book Jane A. Adams to be a very descriptive and intelligent writer. I particularly liked the way she described the landscape of the area making it come to life for me. She also introduced a couple of possible sub plots that in the end had nothing to do with the real case, but were well introduced and made the reader think.
The novel's length was comparatively short at only 188 pages. I do think this could have been extended and with a better and more interesting twist in the final few chapters, as it all seemed a bit tame in the end. This would have added to the suspense and made it a far more pulsating conclusion to the book.
My last moan is the length of the chapters. I like short, punchy chapters, so I can read a few chapters in one sitting. However in this book she went too far as it was a new chapter every six or so pages. I had hardly got into the chapter when it was finishing, which I found frustrating. What she also did which I did not like was to put the new chapter on the same page as the previous one; maybe she was saving the trees here!!
For me it was a promising start to the novel but ultimately disappointing and certainly failed to live up to it's early potential. So for me this was an average book and as such I wouldn't recommend it. I will try another book by this author so see if it is any different as I don't believe you can judge an author on one book alone.
Publisher: Seven House
Web Site: www.jane-adams,co.uk
Thanks for reading, hope this is useful!!
This review was also published on Ciao under my user name.
@CPTDANIELS July 2009