16 December 2014

Review: Revenge by Paula Rose

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Olivia Foster is a job coach for an organisation working with adults with autism or Asperger’s. She arrives at work one morning to find the police swarming the place: one of her clients, Bobby, is missing—kidnapped? Lt. Phillip Landon is in charge of the case, and finds himself with two problems: his attraction to the job coach, and his worry that Bobby might be the bait rather than the target—with Olivia the kidnapper’s true target.

Revenge was a fast-paced romantic suspense novel with plenty of romantic tension tension between Olivia and Phillip, and plenty of external tension as they seek to locate Bobby and “Jerry” before something worse happens. Unfortunately, the tension was often let down by the writing (or perhaps by insufficient editing): bad sentence structure, missing words, incorrect words, and excessive repetition. I often found myself rereading passages to try and work out what had been said or what was meant. This disrupts the flow of the story and breaks the suspension of disbelief necessary to really enjoy a novel.

As an example:
“The full implement of manpower wasn’t able to stay on this case without something to go on.” 
For starters, “implement” should be “complement" (implement a noun is a tool or other piece of equipment used for a particular purpose, while implement as a verb means to put a plan or decision into effect). Also, “wasn’t” is the incorrect word: it’s past tense. Better choices would be “isn’t” (present tense, which is correct in character’s dialogue) or “won’t be” (future tense, given they are talking about a decision to be made). Another example:

"The open display of grief from the executive director coupled with the facts only persona in the human resources department framed Olivia Foster’s normal reaction in the situation.”

I can kind of see what this is trying to say (kind of), but it sounds like something my management consulting colleagues would write--when they didn’t want the client to understand something. It also sounds like there some wrong words, and a few words missing. This example is typical of the writing in Revenge, especially in the interior monologue, and it really gets in the way of the story.

Overall, Revenge had the potential to be a good story, but it didn't make the grade for me.

Thanks to Anaiah Press for providing a free Advance Review Copy for review (they say it was unproofed, which could explain errors such as manor/manner and reign/rein, but proofreading is unlikely to fix sentences such as those quoted above. That's line editing, a much earlier stage in the book production process. And the Kindle sample is still showing the mistakes).

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