For many years Dan Starkey has been a journalist of some repute - mainly ill. Now he is back with his wife Patricia, and while they try for a baby, he is aiming to keep himself out of trouble. Had he not been caught in a rather awkward position when he received a phone call from Big Davie Kincaird, he might not have decided to return to the village of Groomsport. And had he not drunk too much in order to cover the awkwardness of seeing this friend he hasn't known for 25 years, he might not have found himself agreeing to go on honeymoon...in Florida...for three weeks...with Big Davie. What else could possibly go wrong?
©2004 Colin Bateman (P)2005 W F Howes Ltd
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"In two minds about this book"
I'm in two minds about this book. I must congratulate the narrator - because his lively reading style outshone the somewhat inconsistent storyline.
I haven't read Colin Bateman before, but from reviews of his other titles I know that his books are in the humorous/thriller genre - so I fully recognise that you need to 'suspend your disbelief' when listening - in the spirit of that genre.
Nevertheless, there does needs to be a 'backbone' of consistent elements of truth running through a story's narrative/characters, to support a more outrageous storyline, and I feel this is missing. Certain aspects of the story made me want to shout at the author - because there were gaping holes in the plot that made the actions/conversations of the characters unrealistic. (This is not a spoiler) - one example of a plot-gap is when the main character phones his wife and has a long conversation with her about which action he should take relating to something major that affects both their lives. He subsequently takes action but then never phones or speaks to his wife again for the majority of the book! Wouldn't he phone to tell her? Wouldn't she phone him to find out?
This books starts off being very humorous with an 'edge' (which is enjoyable) and then gradually becomes darker and more violent towards the end - making the main characters less appealing and less believable. Thus, by the end, you don't really care what happens to anyone.
It feels like the author had lots of different ideas for plot-lines and then tried to crowbar the characters into them. They simply don't fit.
I will try another of Colin Bateman's later novels however - just to see if his plotlines improve with time. Which is why I'm in two minds - in the first half of the book I wanted to like this book, but by the second half I can't say that I did.
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