Synopsis: I love a good action/adventure thriller, particularly if it’s set in a realistic context against a convincing political backdrop. So I was looking forward to reading DeadlyStraits by R E McDermott.It has received a number of great reviews on Amazon, and the author’s background added credibility to the story. R E McDermott has been in the Merchant Marine and worked in Singapore, Hong Kong and sundry other places. The story is based around a plot, hatched between Iran and Venezuela, to disrupt the world economy by blowing up oil tankers. What’s more, as the author notes on his blog, recent events have confirmed the plausibility of the book’s premise.
Review: I’d only read one bad review of the book. Every book gets a few bad reviews, simply because people have different interests and tastes. So I didn’t give that review much thought. Instead bought the book and began reading with anticipation. Sadly that one bad review was right. Or, at least, it’s the only review I’ve read of the book with which I can agree
At this point I must admit that I haven’t got beyond the first few chapters, as I couldn’t bring myself to read anymore of Deadly Straits than that. So it’s possible the story picks up for those with more staying power than me. (Although this is, of course, a severe indictment, authors have to grab their readers’ attention quickly and hang on to it for a thriller to work.)
The problem with the book’s opening is, so much information is presented so quickly, as scenes cut between each other, that it’s difficult to remember who is who. Even worse, the reader is told, rather than shown, much of this information and back story. This adds boredom to confusion, and clearly demonstrates the reason for the old adage – Show don’t tell.
Deadly Straits is a one star, don’t bother to read. (Caveat, if you can get beyond the first few chapters the book may deserve a higher rating than this.)