Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves

Vera Stanhope climbed out of Hector's ancient Land Rover and felt the inevitable strain on her knees.

The next sentence:

Hector's Land Rover.

Sounds like a record skipping. Let's repeat the vehicle and make it a fragment so it hangs in the paragraph like an over-sized love tumor. In any case, not only does this novel begin in a vehicle, it obsesses over the vehicle in order to set us up for the coming back story. The first paragraph then insinuates a problem in the back story before going on to say it's October and describe what October looks like.

So the first paragraph does almost nothing except say Dad died years ago and it's time to forgive him - maybe. That is to say, preamble. Yes, folks, don't worry, there's a story here and we will begin any moment now, maybe paragraph 2? Nope. Vera goes grocery shopping in paragraph 2.

First thing said:

"What the s^!t do you think you're doing?"

Swearing with the first thing said. Not that this is bad, but it does sound out of place in this instance. True, the character is taken by surprise, and when a person is surprised, they swear; that is common knowledge, yes?

Verdict: Fail

Rudy Globird

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