Title: Robert Michals: The Demon in the Trees
Author: Ben Sanders
Page Count/Review Word Count: 280
I have mixed feelings about this book because there’s stuff to both like and dislike about it. Which I suppose is pretty standard for an indie book.
We have some of the common problems here like spelling/grammar mistakes dotted throughout and a non-standard layout (it’s not justified and there are blank spaces between every paragraph). But really, that’s about it. The only other thing that I’d flag is that for what’s essentially a sort of police procedural novel, there was only one real suspect and they turned out to be the culprit. And they could have stopped him way earlier by just putting a tail on him instead of waiting to get warrants and stuff. When the big reveal came, it was kind of an anticlimax. It was too easy.
But other than that, there’s a lot to enjoy. I liked the way that Sanders tapped into mythology and also how the ending of the book sets him up to write many more of them. And actually, for a debut novel, it’s pretty impressive. There are ways it could be improved, of course, but that’s true of almost everything. And what I will say is that the actual police procedural part of the story felt well-researched and authentic, even when it was mixed with the mythical elements.
And of course, I quite liked the bit with the jerky strips. I mean, sure, it was kind of gross, but I like that from time to time. Like The Silence of the Lambs.