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The Last Assignment


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I wish this had been a better-written book. I am not breathless for Part 2.

I hate to give any author a bad review because I know it takes effort to write even an insultingly bad book. I read Peter Mack's bio material and he seems like a perfectly fine fellow who has had an interesting life. But it takes more than drawing on past adventures to make a book animated by living, breathing people. He is a former technical writer and it shows. I hate to say it, but he does not have a gift for language and could benefit greatly by taking an introductory course in creative writing to learn character development, suspense, pacing, and use of italics, for a start.

Here's a flavor of the writing: "When they were all out together, Sarah had an ally in the height department. They bounced insults off each other about Mark’s meagre “five feet nothing” as they referred to it. Mark had no come back about age on Jeff, he was younger, so Mark used to retort with a barrage of statements about how good looking he was compared to Jeff. They were very close friends indeed. They understood each other and enjoyed how they sparked laughter together. "

This is dreadful. I should have been warned by the tag line the author uses to sell his book on Amazon: "Absolutely gripping and fast-paced crime thriller. Part one. New Author, new title, new ideas." A writer who has to tell me his story is "absolutely gripping" probably hasn't written a gripping story.

It begins with two massive, pages long, info dumps, the life story of both sets of characters. Laboriously, the events referred to in the synopsis begin to clunk into motion like an old wooden machine. One after another, leaden pages follow and an improbable tale more or less takes place leading to a climax that I saw coming a mile away.

There's no suspense here. The characters are cardboard. A few are female, most are male. They all talk the same, nothing to differentiate them. He does try from time to time to put words in the mouth of these dull characters, but has no gift for dialogue. People just don't talk like that, even in books.

What really made me sizzle was coming to the end and reading "To Be Continued" in Part 2. Believe me, I am not breathless with anticipation.

Reviewed by

I'm always scrounging for a good book, one that transports me out of daily life into a world I will never live in. A good book is one that teaches me something by nuance, revealing the inner lives of characters I will never know.

About the author

Born in the UK, 1963 and raised in Yorkshire, England. He worked as a Technical Author writing Electronics Technical Manuals in Manchester. Travelled as a software consultant flying all over the world for six years. He developed lots of ideas for novels based on real life events. view profile

Published on August 30, 2020

Published by

40000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by