Dog’s Twilight

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Dog's Twilight

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...A Slow-burn thriller that overstays it's welcome...

Tess Wainwright is a successful author coming to Oxford for a book tour and to meet her son, Ben, after several years. Conrad and Pete are two chancers who find out that where she will be and decide to copy her latest manuscript and sell it to the newspapers as a scoop for a large sum of money. Having successfully copied the data from Tessa’s laptop, they also find out that Ben was the result of an affair with a Government Minister. Conrad decides that with this information it would be far better to blackmail Tessa than sell the manuscript on. When Tessa tells her agent, Vince, he decides to do his own investigation and shortly afterwards, Pete is found dead having fallen from a high window. With the blackmail notes still coming, Tessa is forced to leave Vince to continue searching while she continues with her book tour. When his suspicion falls on Vince, it starts a cat and mouse power-play between them with Tessa’s secrets the prize.

A slow-burn thriller set in Oxford, which promises much but for me, does not deliver what I expected. The story and it’s setup are fine, but once it has been established, it then spends it’s time establishing all the characters before going back to the main plot as well as spinning off other subplots. The characters are well-established and you find out plenty about them and in general and their actions and reactions to the situation around them feel real in most situations. The differences between them even in just their speech patterns and thoughts and how they act helps to keep them very clear. On the downside, as there are a lot of characters who are all revealed in plenty of detail. Sometimes it feels that more time is spent filling up the pages about them, instead of pushing the story forwards. The story is descriptive and everything is given out in great detail, which is fine to begin with, but there are times when information that really isn’t relevant is mentioned leaving you to wonder if an editor might have excised some of the more florid prose to leave a tighter story.

I did find myself reading over a lot of the pages just to find the next important piece of plot and finding I had not missed anything of value as I did so. I do also wonder how many of the, less than intelligent, actions that several of the characters take are more about trying to add plot twists than running with the story. While it is also obvious who the main villain of the piece is, it switches between people as to who we should follow when it comes to the plot, it starts with Tessa and then switches to Vince, while Tessa then goes off and addresses her own subplot.

The formatting for the book is great, the chapters and scenes are well split out and it was easy to read. In general the spelling is fine and I didn’t notice any glaring errors. There are author’s notes and a link to the next book by the author if you are interested. However, when the initial author’s note tells you they are happy to have never met anyone like one the characters, I guess it tells you half the plot in advance. There are also excerpts of Tessa’s supposed fantasy novel interspersed throughout the book, just in case you wanted to see what you were missing. I’m sure it is meant to be there as some kind of analogy, but if it is, then I have missed it completely.

Overall, this is a thriller which could be half it’s length and still fit everything in. If you are a fan of this kind of slow-burn story, then you will enjoy it, but it didn’t excite me as much as I thought it would. On a side note, it does amuse me that this entire story could have been solved by the use of a strong laptop password.

Rating: 2
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