It’s been awhile, I know. But, as I said in my last blog, I’m sick of yakkin’ about myself. I’ll have plenty to to bore you with once I write a story that I think you might want to read. So, I went looking for other ways to use my blog. (Before you all think I died and forgot to tell you.)
One of the best things I could think of is to help a few of the authors I know get some web presence. Particularly if they have a published work. I consider self-published as published, by the way.
Now, I will warn everyone that I will never, Evvvvver, say I liked a story when I didn’t. But do remember. I’m just one joker in the deck. And most of you know what I think of a single person’s opinion. Even mine. We all have one, and they all stink.
Beyond that BS: I’ve been doing some heavy reading. Recently, I was lucky enough to win a copy of Robert Lewis’s Untold Damage. I will say that I am a fan of a well told ‘cop’ story. Particularly when the tale isn’t really a ‘cop’ story. Untold damage, at least as far as what I got ‘out of it, is a human story. The same kind of story that made hits out of shows like Criminal Minds, Or CSI, (Pick one, they were all pretty good.).
Yes. Mark Mallen is a cop. Even though he is a junkie and in disgrace―he is a cop. But Mr. Lewis also makes it plain. Mallen is a human being who made some bad choices, and wants nothing more that to be the police officer he once was. Be the man he once was.
Now add to this mess a dead best friend; two goons who want nothing more than his ass dead, (Once they get bored with torturing him, that is.); an estranged wife and daughter; and a mystery that gets deeper with each page. Now as crime dramas go. That’s a damned good combo.
By the way. Publisher Midnight Ink, a division of Llewellyn Worldwide, lists Untold Damage as a mystery. And they’re right. But ya ain’t getting any spoilers out’ta me, Chuckles. Besides, you maniacs would want to parboil me if I ruined the story for you.
The only thing that bugged me a bit are the flashbacks. This is a personal thing, Folks, but I’m not a big fan of flashbacks, or dream sequences. Mostly because they pull me out of the story the author got me interested in. Which is where I want to be. Mr. Lewis has quite a few flashbacks woven into his novel. And to his credit, they are necessary to understanding the story. Kudos. But, I wanted to stay with the main story, and slightly resented being pulled out of that story. I honestly think a lot of the flashback info could have been woven into the main story for a much better effect.
If there ever was a litmus test for a story―This is it, Gang. Can a story interest the reader enough to make them forgive violating a pet peeve, and keep reading?
For me, the answer was yes. I honestly wanted to know what the heck was going on. I rooted for Mallen to keep going and solve the crime. In short, I wanted to finish this story. More important, I want to read the next novel.
Now, I’m just a storyteller… I hope… so this is the only compass I can go by when reviewing a story. I’m not college educated, and I couldn’t diagram a sentence if my tailbone were set aflame. But, I know when I like a story, and I like Untold Damage.
I also recommend Untold Damage. Even if you’re not inclined towards crime drama, or mysteries.
Now, remember guys and gals, I am a Book Ho. Actually, I’m a Story Ho. I liked Piccadilly Cowboy author, Terry Harknett’s Edge series. That would get me hung in some circles. Or at the very least, looked at as the village idiot. But I like Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie, as well. Go figure.
Now, I don’t believe in thumbs up, or star ratings, (What? Are we still in kindergarten here?), so I don’t use them. Either it’s a good story, in my opinion―or it’s not. Untold Damage is a good story.
Later, Gang. 😉