Thursday, 26 December 2013

Revenge by Martina Cole



Wow, what a horrible first sentence to begin a story. Unfortunately, this counts as the first sentence, so critiquing it on its own is not really fair. The poor little sentence doesn't stand a chance. It offers nothing (conflict, setting, characterization, or even allegory, etc). To make matters worse, it sounds like a telemarketer bothering. What follows is a rant:

"Are you listening to me? My little girl has been missing for three...days. I think that might be worth your attention, don't you?"

This opening begins with a phone conversation. So besides the tiring missing child (though not a kid as we learn later, much older) premise to start this off, the dialogue doesn't sound really real. There is some swearing I left out, but even with the cussing it sounds like something someone would write in an email rather than scream into a phone. Thankfully, the writer spared us the fact that the phone rang before the conversation began.

The rant continues onward to comical proportions with lines like this:

"Her mother is giving me serious grief..."
"I need to know where she is, people."
"I know she isn't exactly what you might call a wilting...violet and, believe me, when I locate her I will personally launch her into outer space for this."
"I am not a man who is known for his patience, and I have a very low threshold for idiocy."

Whoever this idiot character is, he swears like a drunken Barbie doll pissed she's broken a fingernail and consumes the first page with his annoying ego. Personally, I want to punch this moron or rip out every page of the book which has him in it. What this means is that the writer is doing something right with the characterization, just that this character slips right into a one-dimensional portrayal as easily as a dollar bill slips out of my wallet.

Then there is some back story about the daughter who is not very dependable before the narrative derails with a description of the ranter:

Micheal Flynn was dark-haired and dark-skinned...

Read that in a deep voice Bob Barker.

Verdict: Fail

Rudy Globird

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