Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For Me, It Takes More Than The Storyline...

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 31:  A woman ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Turnbull threw his wife into the Thames;
There were witnesses who could place him on the bridge...

A Crime To Be Rich

By David Snowdon

Often the sound of a good plot pulls readers into selecting a book. so I selected A Crime to be Rich when offered.

Shane Turnbulll, a banker, received an anonymous call who told Turnbull that if he would go to a certain address at a certain time, he would see something of interest...Although the caller had absolutely refused to tell his name, Shane decided to go and found his wife there with another man...

A Crime to be RichWhen she got home, an argument started and Turnbull punched her; unfortunately when she fell, she hit her head and was killed. Without much thought, that banker placed his dead wife in the trunk of his car and threw her off the bridge into the Thames River!

Prior to his leaving their home, a friend of his wife had called, helping to give Shane an alibi, as he promised he'd have her return the call as soon as she was home. Later he began to place calls to friends and family, asking if they'd seen her.

Detective Inspector Ray Eubanks was assigned the case; he was the best they had and he almost certain right from the beginning that Turnbull was responsible...

Until another man confessed to the crime...

So Turnbull, taking an old fame with him, went to Miami for a vacation.

Normally, I would have read this type of police crime novel quickly. Days went by and I still wasn't finished due to stopping and restarting. I vowed though to read the entire book, primarily to respond to the commitment I had made, but also to see how the plot ended. But when Turnbull visited a voodoo practitioner, claiming his wife was haunting him and getting the advice to kill another individual, throw the body into the Thames and send him a live white chicken to sacrifice...well, shall I say the plot...thickened "weirdly"...

Actually, if the writing had been great, I could have been more responsive. However, this writer takes page after page to describe eating, sipping, and enjoying music, calling it fun, even though there is little dialogue. The characters match since they are defined by (1) whether they are posh or not, identified for readers by the main character's interpretation of the individual's accent/education. (2) the clothes each and every character wears on each and every day and (3) the fact that, no matter where Snowdon travels, he knows somebody with whom he went to school and they love and host he and his lover for free...and then commiserates for pages and pages  while eating and sipping. And, of course, all of them are millionaires or billionaires.

The most troublesome issue about the book for me is the repetition. Totally ignoring the concept of making sure each word carries the story forward, the author states, repeats, and repeats again. Here's an example from just one page (p. 69).

"He stared at me...He stared at me thoughtfully again...We gazed at each other...As we gazed at each other... We gazed at each other again..." or

I picked up my drink, sipped it and continued to eat. I didn't want the meal to come to an end. It was so good. But every good thing has to come to an end eventually. And eventually, we all finished the meal. After we finished the meal, we ordered another round of drinks. That was the most satisfying meal that I've had for a very long time. I sipped my drink...(p. 140)

For me, the power of the plot was not enough to override the author's style of writing. I found it not only boring, but lacking in creativity and too much regurgitation of words such as posh over and over and an endless identification of characters by the clothes they wore, especially when these clothes were elaborately defined and then said to be "nice."  Check out other reviews to further consider this one. Sorry, I can't recommend...

Book Received


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