Tag: Clunky

B. A. Paris – The Break Down | Review

Title: The Break Down

Author: B. A. Paris

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 432

Rating: 4/5

I normally find thriller novels pretty hit and miss, but I’ve quite enjoyed what I’ve read of B. A. Paris so far. I might even be slightly more kindly disposed towards her because I was sent a copy of Behind Closed Doors, her first novel, ahead of its publication.

I think part of it is the fact that her writing just feels a little more polished to me. There’s a sort of style of writing that’s pretty common amongst thriller writers that just grates on me somehow, a way with words that just feels clunky and which pulls me out of the story. That doesn’t seem to happen with B. A. Paris.

Still, it wasn’t flawless. One of my biggest problems with it was a scene in which a group of French students steal a phone and then give it to the main character. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil things for you, but it was kind of a Deus Ex Machina kind of thing where it all just felt too coincidental. And if it hadn’t happened, the whole story couldn’t have taken place.

Overall though, I did enjoy reading this, and I was particularly impressed by how gripping it was. I found it difficult to put down, and there wasn’t a slowdown in the story towards the middle, which I find is pretty typical in thriller novels. I think it probably also helped that it did some fun stuff with layout towards the end as we start to see a series of text messages, and this meant that the page was broken up and you could whizz through a dozen pages in just a couple of minutes. I think that layout might annoy some people, but not me.

So would I recommend The Break Down? Absolutely. It’s a refreshing little read in a genre that’s been done to death. In fact, I think that most people would probably enjoy it even if they don’t consider themselves to be thriller readers, and that’s saying something. It’s just pretty approachable, and it does a great job of the whole “twist” thing, to the point at which you could probably re-read it and still enjoy it because you’d start to look for the clues.

Now that I’ve enjoyed both this book and Behind Closed Doors, I think we can safely say that I’m a fan of B. A. Paris, and I’ll definitely check out more stuff.

Learn more about The Break Down.

 


Peter James – Sweet Heart | Review

Title: Sweet Heart

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 340

Rating: 3.5/5

This book was a bit of a strange experience, because James has definitely evolved as a writer since he came up with this one. At the same time, it wasn’t bad, although a few of the references dated it back to the early nineties when it was released. But that doesn’t really matter because the story itself is what makes it worth reading.

Sure, it has its fair share of clichés, but it’s also a haunted house story. In fact, it basically read like an early draft of The House on Cold Hill, and I enjoyed that one and so I enjoyed this one too. The writing was never clunky, but there were a few points at which it was perhaps overly simple. That said, it did exactly what it needed to do to tell the story, and I can’t really complain about it.

I’m not sure if I’d say this is a particularly good place to start with Peter James, but if you’ve read a few of his other books and perhaps you feel like a break from Roy Grace, this could well be the book for you. That’s especially true if you’re more of a fan of horror and the supernatural than police procedural novels, although I’m a fan of both and personally think that he’s better at the latter.

I also liked the way that everything all came together here, although it was perhaps a little predictable. But that made it a lot easier for me to keep track of what was going on and who was who, and so I never once felt lost. The result was just a pretty easy read that did still leave me feeling a little bit unsettled, to the point at which I was checking over my shoulder in my house to make sure that I was still alone. If that doesn’t sell this book, I don’t know what will.

Click here to buy Sweet Heart.