by John Dolan
This is a crime novel with a difference. It is set on the Thai island of Sammui in early 2005, and is peppered with red-herrings, wrong turns, humour, buddhist wisdom, and a highly flawed good guy. Braddock, an unregistered private investigator, is doing a good job of staying under the wire, until the local police chief pulls him in to assist in the investigation of the murder of two Europeans. And then it gets worse–the police chief asks Braddock to tail his wife, to see if she is having an affair, and–of course–she is … with Braddock! The plot thickens.
I loved this book, and it kept me guessing all the way through. There are some nice and unexpected twists, as well as loads of humour. The world building, plot, pacing, and character development are all done very well. On this basis, I would say this is a resounding five star read. However, there are too many spelling errors, missing words, and that kind of thing. So, a proofread is definitely needed. Also, the tense keeps changing from past to present, sometimes in its own section/chapter and sometimes not. I found this disconcerting. No sooner had I gotten used to the one style, when it would change to the other, and then back again. The point of view is written in the First Person and remains delightfully consistent throughout. There are some clumsy and overly long sentence constructions and a distinct lack of comma usage in introductory clauses and in general, which forces the reader to go back and re-read sentences for sense time and again. All of which ruins the flow. Having said that, there are also some brilliant lines, and this writer is a master of description ad expression.
So, despite it’s need for a further edit and proofread, it is a brilliant book and highly entertaining. It gets a strong four stars from me.