There is most definitely a good story in here somewhere but it is very poorly told. If this had been any other author I would have stopped reading ages ago but I kept on giving it a chance.
The novel started off as being more British than the British. Given it was set in London there was definitely a lot of effort put into making it sound tres Anglo-Saxon. I don't think people realize that the barriers that they believe exist between Americans and Brits are very grey. Nowadays language is becoming more international and frankly there were a few words at the start that I don't think even English coppers use anymore.
Next qualm: the two story lines - the one about the murdering wife of a "kiddie fiddler" and the other about the kidnapping had no link whatsoever and I failed to understand why they were in the same novel except as cushioning to make the story longer.
The main story line of the kidnap seemed miles too far-fetched for me. It was bizarre. Especially the linkage to Al Qaeda and Israel; the impressionable American girl whose mind is manipulated to make her believe she was sexually abused as a child... There is far too much in this and it failed to grab me like the first James Patterson I read.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this as a good read.
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Exactly why have I not read a James Patterson novel until now?
This book was hands down one of the most action packed thrillers I have ever read. By the time I finished it I felt like I had just been on a roller coaster ride, my heart was racing. I also got through the pages very fast, mostly because it was just a story, nothing particularly taxing.
A few Amazon reviews argue the book was too far fetched to be realistic but I disagree, the truth is often stranger than fiction. I guess if you have led a very ordinary life it is hard to believe the sort of strange things that can happen in the life of another. Some reviews argue that his earlier books are a lot better so I am going to try another one and see what I think.
James Patterson is a very good storyteller, you should try him.
I started reading this book a week ago and have utterly failed to get into it. Despite rave reviews I didn't like the style of writing and sometimes I thought the protagonist's statements were not in keeping with the persona she was meant to have. Additionally, the book wasn't getting to the point. There wasn't enough action to propel my reading forward. Perhaps I am not in the right state of mind for this book right now and will pick it up again at a later juncture but for now, we must part ways.
By the way, just in case you were wondering, Lionel is a gal not a guy.
I read this book a couple of months ago. Two things amazed me about the book: firstly, it was self-published but it still made it as a best-seller because the quality of the writing and the plot of the story was as good as, if not better than, any published thriller that I have read, and I have read very many. Books like this definitely prove that a publisher is not necessary and a worthy product will sell without the need for one. There was something very Val McDermid about this story, it's reminiscent of Fever of the Bone by Val albeit definitely a better read. Sorry Val, I still enjoy your writing but Fever of the bone is not as good as some of your other output.
The second amazing aspect of this book was the price, it was only £0.75, most people don't even pause to think before spending 75 pence. Saffina's justification was that she doesn't have to charge so much because she's cut out the middleman, the publisher. I beg to differ with her reasoning: yes, she can afford to charge less, but 75p? - come on, how about the effort that went into this book? and how about the VAT one has to pay for eBooks, a tax that printed books are not subject to. Artists should charge more for their efforts because writing is hard work, even when it is enjoyable, time is precious and that time needs to be valued appropriately. If she wants to maximise volume, perhaps give some books away for free and charge more for the rest but don't charge 75p!
Put a different way, let's say you buy a book as a present for someone, you wouldn't want to buy a 75p novel regardless of it's quality because it might send out the wrong signal. If you did get a book that was that cheap you would have to add other presents to the bundle. People like to feel valued and although it is the thought that counts, this should never be an excuse for being a cheapskate.
On the other hand, this may be Saffina's strategy for getting her name known. She maximises volume on book one so that by the time her second book comes out she can charge a by now captive audience more - I certainly hope this is the case. I know the same book is being re-written in an American setting to appeal to the American market - I personally prefer to read about things that are foreign to my ordinary day to day life - that is the point of reading, is it not? To learn new things and stretch one's imagination? I think the time would have been better spent on a new novel. I personally, won't re-read the same book just because it's now in set in New York but I would buy an entirely new novel by Saffina Desforges. I don't know how the strategy will work but I wish Saffina luck. She is truly talented.
Ultimately, it might be me who doesn't understand the consumer's behavior when it comes to the purchase of fiction material as the story of this investment banker turned author shows.
This book is only available as a kindle book. Links to the US-version and the UK-version are provided below for both Amazon.com and .co.uk.
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
Time allowing, I love to read. If I read anything interesting, I will blog about it here.