Thriller - novel
TBR reviewer: Cathy
You know a publicity stunt has backfired when someone dies. Starving author Eddie Barrow, Jr., will do anything to get a book deal with a NYC publisher. Even if it means getting caught by the media while engaging in S&M with a female celebrity as a publicity stunt. What Eddie gets instead are details of a billion dollar fraud scheme from a suicidal client who's fatally shot minutes later. Now on the run from the law and the killers, Eddie seeks help from two unlikely friends—an alcoholic and a dominatrix.
With few resources, Eddie races to clear his name, unveil the fraud scheme, and expose the killers before he becomes their next victim.
This was a fun thriller by Russell Brooks: but, big BUT, there’s good news and there’s bad…
The story, set around Montreal, Canada, revolves around Eddie, a struggling writer. He is disheartened by his poor e-book sales and even more despondent when his novel is rejected by two publishing houses. His parents are unsupportive, his girlfriend has cheated on him and his best friend (and flatmate), Corey, owes him rent. Could it get any worse? Oh, indeed
it could – he gets laid off from his job at a book store. Corey’s girlfriend, Jordyn is a ‘femdom’, a dominatrix, when she is not waitressing; a lucrative side-line which will enable her to save up enough money to buy her own café. As this little side-line introduces her to all sorts of high-profile people, she suggests that Eddie could do worse than be a ‘maledom’ for one night. A publicity stunt can bring attention to both participants……..what better way to get his name ‘in lights’?
When he is finally persuaded, poor Eddie finds himself with more than just public exposure. He finds himself on the run with Corey and Jordyn; and the pursuant ‘police’ are not after them to nail them, they’re after them to kill them……
So, the good? This is an enjoyable, fast-paced thriller with likeable characters set in the cold harshness of a Canadian winter. The dialogue between Eddie, Corey and Jordyn is just what you would expect from three best friends who have known each other for a long time – it’s jovial banter which often raises a smile. Hapless Eddie is easy to empathise with and the brotherly bond between him and Corey goes back to when they first met, as young teenagers, in an incident which could have ended considerably less than happily for Eddie. The action and characters were all well-described and portrayed. Russell’s style is light and easy to read.
And now… the bad… it’s such a shame when a good book is let down by slapdash editing. I’m sorry, Mr. Brooks, but this book was seriously lacking. There were tense inconsistencies, some serious grammatical blunders (he instead of him outside of dialogue), punctuation and spelling mistakes (please, please learn the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ and if you are going to mention Jack Nicholson’s brilliant film, get it right– it’s not The Shinning, it’s The Shining) and Robert morphed into Richard. I did like the use of French dialogue - it helped to integrate the setting into its French-Canadian backdrop, but the English translation was pointless and unnecessary. More importantly, however, if you are going to use French, for goodness sake get it right – there were accents missing, incorrect adjective agreement and worst of all…..the auxiliary verb that goes with the past tense of ‘venir’ is ‘etre’, not ‘avoir’.
In summary, a lively and entertaining story, but needs a good polish.