Top critical review
Good plot, poorly copy edited
Reviewed in the United States on October 31, 2016
I so wanted to like this book, but it was a frustrating and uneven book to read. I did make it to the end, but was skimming several pages at a time to do so. The problem was the editing. It had a good plot and good elements, but they were inconsistently and unevenly applied. For example, the device to add something that should have been introduced way earlier, "which he had previously stopped to pick up" jars you out of the chronology because the editor was too lazy to pull that snippet back where it belongs. Likewise the sister suddenly appears about two-thirds of the way through the book as a living and breathing character after nothing but an early mention (thank heavens for at least mentioning this sibling) then is relied on heavily to add life to the plot. Finally, if you have EVER fractured a rib, you know that you can barely move without absolute agony for about six weeks. You are also in danger of puncturing a lung with a rib until it heals. The main character in this book is diagnosed with three ribs completely broken through, not just fractured, yet he's immediately out and about having fights with bad guys, with not a mention of rib pain. Groan!! Either write out the rib stuff, or make it real. He'd be on his knees unable to move, let alone fist fight! The antagonist would be kicking for his ribs to finish him off.
I honestly do not blame the author for these things, it has the feel of many of these devices being added in during editing but not smoothly incorporated and backfilled. Perhaps he did not read the final manuscript after copy editing was done. I don't know what the author was going through after he finished the book and before publication. All I know is that there were some flashes of brilliance followed by loss of plot movement, loss of chronology and repeated disappointment each time this happened.
This is the first book I've read by Joseph Finder, I hope his other books are better edited. I will read more and expect better.