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The reason I purchased this book was because my manager had been going on about it and driving me mad for the past three weeks. He really enjoyed it and after hearing so much about I was persuaded to try it, if nothing else to shut him up!!
==About the author:
Peter Leonard is a relatively new author to crime fiction. This is just his second novel, which was written in 2009, on the back off his very successful debut book 'Quiver', which was published the previous year. This American author lives in Birmingham, Michigan where he also is a partner in an Advertising Agency.
==Synopsis of the book:==
Karen Delaney lives with her boyfriend Lou Starr. They have lived together over a year but she feels she wants out of the relationship with him. Then one night when the couple are in bed after he has had a modest win at the Casino two men break into their apartment looking to clear out the successful restaurant of all his cash.
However what they don't expect is to be propositioned by Karen who has a much bigger money making scheme in mind but needs these men's support to carry it off. Previously she had lived with a wealthy businessman Samir who she gave her life savings to for him to invest for her. But when their relationship broke down her refused to gave her back the money and there was nothing she felt she could do about it.
After a little planning and thought from Karen she plans to break into this man's home with her new friends and steal his safe where all his money is stored. However as a real rookie and with the thieves who she doesn't really know things are bound not to go completely to plan. As Karen's idea for a new luxury life on her own takes some unusual and unexpected twists.
==My thoughts on this novel:==
When I considered this book, it immediately had several facts that made me think I would not enjoy this book at all. Firstly, my boss and I have very contrasting reading favourites I like crime fiction and vampire stories he loves science fiction. The other key fact that worried we about this book was the author was and still is American. Traditionally I really struggle with authors from this country, I'm not sure exactly what it is, maybe that I've never been there of the difference in size of the place or indeed the cultural differences but I tend to really not like their work.
Despite all this I did actually enjoy this story and I found it an exciting adventure. I just hope my boss doesn't try and covert me to his style of books now!! Not surprisingly with this being only this author's second novel I had never heard or read any work by him, but I have to say on this books style I think he will develop into a very popular international writer. Usually it takes me a couple of novels to get used to a new author but I found with this book I very quickly took to his relaxed style of writing.
When I first picked this book up, it didn't take me long to be impressed and that was before I'd even started reading it. I liked the title to start with that for me had many and varied possibilities. Then on the back page was praise by other journalists on this book!! This is a first to me as if they are praising the author it is for his or her work in general not the book you are about to read to I was greatly impressed by this.
Despite this I was disappointed by the summary of the story. After all this is supposed to persuade many to buy it and grab their attention. It was ridiculously short just one paragraph long. Although in that it did give you a little taster about what the book was about, I would have liked more depth and detail as that alone would not have sold me onto the book.
The story was written from about six different perspectives that were the main characters within the story. The advantage for me of this approach is if it is done well you get a good all round view on what is happening in the story. For me this worked to a certain degree but I did find by doing this I didn't get the in-depth perspective I would ordinarily get from one viewpoint. So that I did not feel I had the detail I could have had and the depth with the characters feelings.
Initially I found the story really easy to get into, as it quite rightly started immediately with the action and this got me immediately involved and interested in what was happening. Although I did think I would have liked more detailed descriptions of the characters and their mannerisms, I found the story easy to get into and I liked the concept behind it.
Although at this point I started to go off the story just for a while. The Planning stage where Karen was getting together her team, I struggled to get to grips with. It was a slower pace and everyone seemed to have gambling debts and I got at this point anyway confused who owed who and who worked for who and who knew who. If something big hadn't happened I would have probably given up as different minor criminals trying to earn a living doesn't really appeal to me.
However as soon as the robbery was in progress and the after mouth of it I really started to enjoy the story. Not only because it was action packed but also I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next. The author was really good at creating suspense and this story was full of it. I had no idea what would happen to Karen and her team and if they would be successful or all get killed in what was to follow.
The story really impressed me with the unusual directions it took and as I got to know the various characters better so I got to know and understand how different developments affected them. Yes I would still have liked more emotion and in depth writing about their thoughts, concerns and worries, as for me each scene were a little short and lacking this detail. It was a story where you really didn't know who could be trusted as everyone seemed to be double-crossing each other.
The pace of the story was always fast and the excitement came thick and fast. At no time could you relax and think you knew what was going to happen as the author employed some very clever and unexpected twists and turns. And for once the conclusion was not the culmination of this as it was always the same throughout. I found the conclusion to make sense and I could expect the outcome to it. Not the most dynamic finish because there had been so much action and adventure before it I really don't think you could top it and in any case it was not necessary.
I think this story would appeal to readers who enjoy action packed adventures. In many ways the style of writing is easy to follow and lacks the long descriptions of either the scene or the people within it. For me it was a little like another American author Lee Child's books I have read, good but not requiring the reader to think too much about what was happening, probably ideal for a light read on holiday.
The books main character was Karen Delaney. A lady who was entering an alien world but who did her very best to consider every eventuality for her actions. I found I really admired her and wanted her to be successful in her quest, after all she was only trying to get back what was hers originally.
You had the most depth on her and her feeling and as such I felt I knew and understand her best. Although having said that I think the author would have been better with a male lead as I still did not feel he did her feelings justice and she had a lot more about her than he displayed in his writing. I liked her single-minded approach and found I could relate to her easily as a character.
With the story being written from all the main characters view point, you got to know and learn a certain amount about all of them. With varying results, some immediately stuck in your mind while others I found I needed reminding about their mannerisms and what their motivation was and who's side they were on. I think this idea of writing from different viewpoints the author carried probably to the extreme I think maybe from three or four would have helped me more.
I think having read and enjoyed this action packed story I am very tempted to read his other novel as see how his style compares and if it has altered in any way. The novels length was spot on, for me it ended when it should have, yes more depth would have helped the story but at the same time it would have slowed the pace of the story and meant less action.
The book so far comes with three different covers; two different paperbacks and one hard back one. What impressed me was the author's web site listed below, usually I find authors either have no web site of their own or have gone completely overboard trying to merchandise their creative efforts, this one for me was a refreshingly honest and helpful one.
If you like a good action packed adventure this could well be the book for you. I really enjoyed it possibly in part because it was a break from the norm for me. But more so because it was an interesting well written and thought out story. The only thing I missed was the depth within the characters. I certainly will consider reading more stories in the future from this author.
Price: £4.19 New at Amazon
Publisher: Faber and Faber
More about the author: http://peterleonardbooks.com/home.html
Thank you for reading my review.
This review is published on both Dooyoo and Ciao under my user name.
©CPTDANIELS February 2011.