Saturday, November 22, 2008

Review: Scattered Leaves by Richard Roach

I was able to finish Scattered Leaves this afternoon. Unfortunately, Richard Roach's book was not an enjoyable read for me.

My post yesterday contains the book jacket summary, so I won't repeat it here. The idea, the plot, the background of the book had me hooked the first time I read it. I still think it's a great idea for a book.

The plot moves quickly. An oil rig blows up in the opening scene. Ben McCord leaves there, has a fight with his boss, then goes home to find his wife dead. Great opening to the book. Had me hooked. Ben gets arrested, released, goes looking for the killer, gets shot at, gets kidnapped... Lots of action, lots of mystery.

So, why didn't I like it? One reason is that it is just not believable. Maybe I am too much into mysteries and thrillers to allow this book to seem real. Ben's interactions with the police were wrong - not stereotypical or anything but just not right. And too many things happened in such a quick fashion without any real connection. Or reason. And rather than causing me to become more interested and wonder what happened, it just made me think "No way - could not happen". Add into the mix Dr. Pettijohn, a dentist that was raped by the bad guys, who later, with seemingly no issues, 'fixed' it so those 'guys' could not hurt anyone again. Just felt like a woman with her background would have handled things very differently. Didn't ring true.

I also had issues with the first person writing style. I felt like I was being told what the characters were thinking and feeling rather than letting their actions show me. I don't think it was an issue with being written in first person, but rather how it was done. I don't go around thinking to myself that I am hungry, sad, frustrated. Rather, my actions clue me and others in way before I ever think those actual words. As a reader, I don't want to be spoon-fed the emotions and actions, but rather be a part of them as they unfold.

Now, to be fair, I have just read two excellent mysteries in the last weeks and so may have been expecting too much. If you are not a huge mystery fan, but want to read a quick moving, action-filled book, this may be a good one for you.

I am just one reader, however. To find out what other readers thought of Scattered Leaves, check out Savvy Verse & Wit and Reader Views.

Rating: 1.5/5 stars


Amy said...

Ah, yes, sadly I agree with you. :(

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the honest review. I think I'll skip this one.