Sunday, March 2, 2014

SeveredSevered by Simon Kernick
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Simon Kernick’s “Severed” made me realize what a useful skill speed-reading is. First, though, I gave the book a chance and read almost one hundred pages, paying close attention to the text. The remaining 400 pages took me under three hours. I could not force myself to read thoroughly because of lame writing.

This is the same Simon Kernick who wrote “The Business of Dying”, a very good thriller, four stars from me, and also “Relentless”, “The Crime Trade”, and “The Murder Exchange”, which were all ok (three stars). Alas, the writing here is so bad that I am sure Mr. Kernick either spent only a few days dictating the entire book or simply hired a ghostwriter, perhaps a student from a creative writing class. The dialogues are written particularly ineptly; they sound stilted and artificial.

Tyler, a BMW-salesman, and an ex special ops soldier (which allowed the author to include many silly gunfights and hand fights), wakes up one morning next to the body of his lover, whose head had been severed. Interesting beginning, but the moderately engaging plot soon begins to disappoint. Mercifully, the denouement has fewer twists than the usually convoluted and implausible endings in Mr. Kernick’s books.

Two stars.

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