Monday, 30 September 2013

Taking Eve by Iris Johansen

He was ready.

Ah, an allusion to Shakespeare: The readiness is all. No, but seriously, another book that begins with a pronoun? Who here thinks pronoun is a portmanteau for professional noun? Is there a sale on pronouns somewhere someone didn't tell me about? The advertising slogan reading: Pronouns add mystery, intrigue and ambiguity to any story, leaving any reader confused, aching for more.

Jim Doane drew a deep breath as he locked the front door of the small cedar house behind him. All the searching and planning was at an end, and now it was time to put the plan into action.

This second paragraph raises questions like what plan? Unfortunately, the author refuses to reveal and instead tries to milk her plot for every word it's worth - to create suspense? Sadly, I'm not really trembling with suspense here. Then we have a POV switch:

Soon, Kevin. I know it's been a long time.

I assume that's Jim thinking.

First thing said:

"Doane, wait."

Which means we wait and the plot takes a coffee break while characters stand around at the beginning of their novel and chat about house-sitting and how wonderful children are. If you read the blurb this kind of makes sense, but I'm not supposed to tell you that because I'm not supposed to be reading the blurbs when reviewing novel openings, but I had to because I hate being confused. Oh, and do people still call people they know by their last names, Holmes? No, Watson, they don't.

The only thing this opening has going for it is that there's no prologue.

Verdict: Fail

Theodore Moracht

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