Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Last 10 SecondsThe Last 10 Seconds by Simon Kernick
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What a disappointment! Simon Kernick’s “The Last 10 Seconds” is a very bad novel. After wonderful “The Business of Dying” (4 stars) and good “Crime Trade” and “The Murder Exchange” (3 stars both), there comes this horrid clunker.

“The Last 10 Seconds” is so poorly written that it became a dreaded page-turner for me. I was turning pages fast wanting to end the butchery of language as fast as possible. I am afraid Mr. Kernick, now a well-established author of thrillers, does not have time or energy to write the text of the novel himself any more. He probably dictates the plot to some aspiring writer who picks it up from there.

The beginning of the novel has an intriguing setup but then the plot advances so fast that it is totally ridiculous. The twists and turns are contrived and utterly improbable. “The Last 10 seconds” is a non-stop action thriller of the worst kind.

In my review of Mr. Kernick’s “The Business of Dying” (a really good book, except for the last 100 “action-packed” pages) I was making fun of the main character’s ability to miraculously regain strength. Guess what, the main character here often uses “the last vestiges of strength” to regain full strength.

One and a half stars (the half is for the really interesting premise, which could become a fabulous book).

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