Review by Julie Green -- Guardian of Deceit

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Julie Green
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Review by Julie Green -- Guardian of Deceit

Post by Julie Green » 02 Jun 2018, 18:33

[Following is a volunteer review of "Guardian of Deceit" by William H. Coles.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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The Guardian of Deceit tells the story of Darwin, a teenager who goes to live with Luther, a distant relative who is a celebrity footballer, following the death of his parents. Darwin finds himself having to make his own way, earning tips from running errands, despite his family's huge wealth. Darwin makes a strong connection with the wealthy Malverne family, having been befriended by Dr Malverne, who supports Darwin's ambitions to pursue a career in medicine. We see Darwin forging relationships with the various people surrounding Luther, including Darwin's granny, the security guard and Luther's girlfriend. The book examines the changing nature of Darwin's relationships as he matures including, ultimately, his marriage.

This is a light and fairly pacy read with an interesting, sympathetic main character; Darwin is a wry observer of social absurdities and is undaunted by the challenges thrown in his path. I found myself wanting to know how life would turn out for Darwin, and hoping that he would prevail. I particularly enjoyed seeing how Darwin developed different kinds of relationships with the women in his life - from a physical encounter with an attractive tutor, a protective relationship with his vulnerable sister-in-law, and finally a slow-burn relationship with the woman who was to become his future wife.

I have given Guardian of Deceit a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. Unfortunately there were aspects of the story which at worst lacked credibility or at best were inadequately explained - for example the lack of reaction to Helen Malverne lending thousands of pounds to her friend Betsy. There were also too many plot lines which could have been further explored - for example the alleged cheating by Luther, the gambling losses, Luther's apparently brutal treatment of women, or even the motivation behind the deliberate attack on the boat.

Furthermore, the mysterious disappearance of the young swimmer, Betsy, does not feel entirely connected to the central plot line. Specifically, it felt as if Betsy's fate had no real or lasting impact on any of the main characters and was therefore not integral to the story.

Given that the author had chosen to include two characters who were famous in the worlds of football and music, there could have been more insights into the unique lifestyle of the global celebrity.

This book will appeal to the young adult audience, who will enjoy the coming of age story as told by Darwin.

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Guardian of Deceit
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CommMayo
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Post by CommMayo » 03 Jun 2018, 10:08

I'm sorry that this book left something to be desired for you. It seems like a lot of folks are divided over their feelings about Coles' writing.

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Post by kandscreeley » 03 Jun 2018, 18:23

I agree with commMayo. His work does seem to divide people. I personally enjoy reading his books, but I hope you find something more to your liking next.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
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Post by Social Butterfly » 04 Jun 2018, 06:52

There seems to be a difficulty with creating a world through the pages of a book especially one with so many strands. I think this book is just one of those struggling for cohesion

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Julie Green
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Post by Julie Green » 08 Jun 2018, 07:28

Thanks for your comments! This was my first review so it is really interesting to receive feedback. Based on my reading of this book, but also your observations, I would at least be prepared to read other books written by this author in future.

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