Sunday, 26 January 2014

Stranglehold by Robert Rotenberg

This was not the way Ari Greene had expected to be spending his Monday morning.

Preamble. How many thousands of novels begin with something like: This is not how Random Character wanted/expected/planned to/on being/doing this/that today/this week/ this month/this year. On the cover it says this author is Canada's John Grisham. If he is, he certainly doesn't begin like Grisham.

Next line:

No self-respecting homicide detective would be caught dead driving a motor scooter.

Is this supposed to be where conflict is introduced? If so, I don't really care. This doesn't seem like a problem I want to read about. Or is it comic relief? Or a funny way of inserting some exposition? Unless this guy is caught dead on a motor scooter there are better ways to begin a story, and with a mystery what better way than with a crime? So does this one begin that way? No. And a scooter counts as the car opening cliché - which means the character begins the novel traveling to the conflict and plot rather than beginning with conflict, suspense, mystery and tension, all of which are sacrificed for some character development and back story. But some people like to know who they're reading about before they need to know what they are reading about.

In all fairness, this writer combines and balances several elements like character development, back story and general exposition fairly well, just that it isn't hooking me.

First thing said:

"I told them I'd do the job until Christmas, not a day longer."

Which is part of a back story dump.

Verdict: Fail

I would have given this 2.5 stars if it hadn't been for the preambling opening line.

Theodore Moracht

No comments:

Post a Comment