2 out of 4 stars
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Genesis by Edward Johns is the first book in a series of crime thrillers but can be read as a standalone novel.
Harry Travers is an airline pilot who spends his off time drinking and courting the ladies. An uncle that Harry never even knew he had has gone missing and been declared dead, and Harry must make the journey to the US to see what he has inherited. His uncle’s alleged death is rather suspicious though, and too many seedy characters seem to have taken an interest in the land that now belongs to Harry. Joining forces with Tommy, a friend of his uncle’s, Harry makes the life-changing decision to become a private investigator and find out exactly what happened. This investigative doggedness serves him well when he returns to the UK and is roped into helping a colleague’s brother who has been targeted by a crew of dirty poker players. With the fates against him on both sides of the pond will the amateur investigator’s career be shut down before it even begins?
As a book reviewer, the format in which you receive the book is important in creating a good first impression and expectation as to what is still to come. This PDF format had me shaking my head as chapters started in the middle of pages, there were a number of blank pages after each other, some lines had double spacing between them and some not, and nowhere was there a page number to be seen. There were a lot of silly editing mistakes that should have been picked up like punctuation missing, words like your and you’re mixed up, incorrect usage of vein versus vain, a character’s name being incorrectly spelt and gender pronouns being swopped around. The writing was very irregular, with many sections having short and sharp sentences and most of the dialogue ending in an exclamation mark, to very long and wordy sentences with words like somnolence and obsequious seemingly thrown in for good measure. Sometimes you would be reading about a “he” in a paragraph, but it would take you most of the paragraph to figure out who the “he” was.
I was very ambivalent about the storyline. Here you have a character who loves his job of being a pilot and just because a little mystery is thrown his way, decides to become a private investigator. Fine, we can put that down to a mid-life crisis, but when he takes one karate class and can all of a sudden take on four guys with guns I have to raise an eyebrow. A lot of the book was spent with him getting drunk and waking up with a hangover which didn’t say much for either of his professions. I had a problem with his character’s ethics in that he was out for revenge and had no problem killing people he thought had wronged him and covering it up, yet he wanted to legally become an investigator.
Even though I didn’t agree with Harry’s decision to take the law into his own hands, I did feel that the need to protect loved ones as fiercely as what he did was commendable. The author has managed to convey a tone of urgency and an all or nothing attitude in Harry’s deeds, I just wish he could have condensed it from the 525 PDF pages offered.
Genesis by Edward Johns gets a rating of 2 out of 4 stars from me. I took one star off for the editing, and the other star off for a story that has a good grain of an idea but takes far too long to get there, with the reader losing interest over the unnecessary parts. I do hope that the author refines his writing as he releases the series, and due to the language, violence and some sexual content would only recommend this for mature YA and up.
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