1 out of 4 stars
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Operation: Kill the Queen Sins, a crime novel by Bruce W. Dobbins, is about Kasin “Queen” Sins, the racketeer whose businesses include drug smuggling, brothels, human trafficking and illegal gambling. Throughout the book, she expands her criminal reach and recruits more employees to further her aims, one of which is a slave-breeding centre located on one of the Channel Islands. The premise of a female crime boss in the United Kingdom is interesting: I wondered how a woman might negotiate the crime underground as a serious competitor in a male-dominated network.
The novel begins with a gunfight in Kasin Sins’ Liverpool mansion. Her rival, Nigel Taylor, sent three assassins to eliminate her. However, the attempt fails and the surviving assassin, Sally Penrose, decides to work for Kasin to spare herself Sins’ torture chambers. With this move begins a long series of recruitment. In the course of the novel, professional killers and ambitious psychopaths join her already sinister organisation. Not satisfied with wealth and a gruesome reputation among her fellow miscreants, Sins plans devastation in London to keep the UK firmly under her thumb. She also exploits Middle Eastern and African refugees by selling them into slavery, her market being fellow crime bosses and depraved rich people.
My synopsis of the story is halting and insubstantial because there honestly was nothing more I could glean from the manuscript. Fiction invites the reader to suspend his or her disbelief in order to enjoy and absorb the writer’s work. However, this book failed to encourage me to do that because there is no real story, style and literary flair. One of the main problems is the disappearing plot; after the first twenty pages, the book becomes an account of gratuitous violence committed by endless cardboard characters. I gave up keeping track of them after the first few Timmy/Tommys and Sarah/Sallys. The author tried so hard to make his characters villainous that they became absurd. Even the main character was too feebly developed to be anything but a cartoon baddie; Kasin Sins is a bimbo who pays sadists to maim and kill for reasons I still fail to understand.
Queen Sins is inauthentic, rambling and poorly written, and this made reading the book agony. The author likes to tell, but he doesn’t show us much except painstaking shooting scenes where he describes in clinical detail which organ ends up with bullets in it. His characters invariably shoot at each other’s breasts. I only mention this as it happens too often not to become farcical. The story petered out long before the end, but the climax the author built up just flatlined. Thus, the book remains unresolved and the reader feels cheated.
Given everything that’s wrong with it, I’ll rate Operation: Kill the Queen Sins 1 out of 4 stars. It’s too puerile, prurient and clumsily written to recommend to anyone. I feel unclean after reading this book.
Operation - Kill the Queen Sins
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