Thursday 14 September 2017

Paradise Burns by J.P. Sumner (Book Review)

Paradise Burns: Book One of The Adrian Hell Series -

This lightning-paced, all-action thriller introduces Adrian ‘Hell’ - a former Black-Ops soldier turned elite contract killer. Trying to forget a tragic past, he travels America as a hired gun. Helped by his only friend, techie Brit, Josh Winters, he uses his legendary reputation to make a living from killing bad people.

He takes a supposedly straightforward job in Heaven’s Valley, a sun-soaked paradise in the Nevada desert, but quickly finds himself embroiled in a complex plot that could lead to a devastating global conflict.

Armed with just his pistols and a sharp tongue, out-numbered and out-gunned in a city where everyone seemingly wants him dead, he’s left with no choice but to do the only thing he knows how to - fight back!

My Review (3 / 5 Stars)

I had high hopes for this book. A professional killer-for-hire gets commissioned by a mob boss in Vegas to take out someone who screwed him over on a business deal. He completes the job, but it opens a can of worms because things become apparent, involving a terrorist militia cell, a private military contractor, and the U.S. Government.

I still think the story is pretty good, but certain things just kept ruining my immersion. And those things largely boiled down to editing.

In the first place, the author is British. While this is not a problem, the protagonist is supposed to be American. And the book is narrated in first-person. But the narration used way too much British slang for my liking. You don't "phone" people; you "ring" them. He wasn't "standing" in the corner; he "was stood" in the corner. Likewise, people "were sat" in chairs.

While it was kind of nice to see that British slang again, it really didn't gel when a true-blue American started talking about picking up the phone and ringing someone.

The other problem the author has is with keeping a consistent tense. The whole story is meant to be told in past tense, but you'll read things like "I didn't know what was happening, but right now, I don't care." There are other examples of things like that, some more obvious, some more subtle, but I noticed every one.

I'm very sensitive about things like that, and I just couldn't get past them. It's a good story, but it needs the hand of an experienced editor to make it a brilliant one.

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