Official Review: The Hand of Destiny by Martin Jones

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: The Hand of Destiny by Martin Jones

Post by Cecilia_L »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Hand of Destiny" by Martin Jones.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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George Melville is an investigative officer who has just received some rather shocking and life-altering news when His Majesty's Secret Service requests his assistance. Leaving behind his pregnant wife, he travels across the globe and must fight for his life in the pre-WWII espionage, The Hand of Destiny: Book Two A George Melville Mystery by Martin Jones.

In this short read, Melville interacts with a Chinese undergraduate student, a gay professor of antiquities, a female pilot, an Indian prince, and a Nazi general. The author's inclusion of such a diverse range of characters is admirable and significant in light of the pre-WWII timeline. I was also intrigued by the premise of the book; Melville is ostensibly an investigator for a law firm, though while on a mission for His Majesty's Secret Service becomes involved in espionage. As the second book in the George Melville Mystery Series, it seems to stand on its own. Unfortunately, despite the positive features above, the book is poorly executed.

There are several issues that hindered my enjoyment of this book. First, I found the author's verbose writing style distracting. A few examples of this are reflected in his tendencies to repeatedly describe the details of almost every meal he consumes and his flowery descriptions of the weather at any given moment. While occasional nods to delicious food or the appearance of the clouds might be illuminating, the repetitive habit has the opposite effect. Instead, it seems as if these are just tools employed to fill the brief 117 pages.

Next, there are aspects of the plot that don't ring true. In one instance, an estate employee is serving the meal and interjects his opinion which reveals an awareness of the estate owner's private financial arrangements. In the circumstances given, the employee's familiarity is inappropriate, and realistically, it seems unlikely he would be privy to such information. Another example is Melville's reaction when he learns he has received an inheritance. Without exposing any spoilers, I find it difficult to imagine anyone responding similarly despite dealing with grief or even shock.

Finally, there are numerous errors in both grammar and punctuation. I did read a PDF copy but with awkward unpunctuated phrasing such as "...he asked it seemed hopefully", it presents more like a rough draft. The copious errors can't be disregarded--there are ten within the first eight pages alone. Unfortunately, the errors persist throughout the book.

For all of the above reasons, I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. Overall, while I appreciate the diversity of characters, the book would benefit from a thorough edit. Even so, it may appeal to fans of espionage who can look beyond the editorial issues.

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Post by kandscreeley »

I really thought about reviewing this one, but I'm glad I didn't. The descriptions of every meal in such a short book would drive me bonkers. I'm going to pass.
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Post by Cecilia_L »

kandscreeley wrote:
24 Dec 2018, 15:50
I really thought about reviewing this one, but I'm glad I didn't. The descriptions of every meal in such a short book would drive me bonkers. I'm going to pass.
Exactly. Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Sushan »

WW - II related fictions are always interesting for me. Nice review. Thank you 👍👍
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Post by Cecilia_L »

Sushan wrote:
27 Dec 2018, 06:21
WW - II related fictions are always interesting for me. Nice review. Thank you 👍👍
Thank you, Sushan. :tiphat:

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Post by JordanKSmith »

That's too bad. I can sympathize with the temptation to make the wording overly flowery. It might be fun to write that way, but the reader needs to be considered. Hopefully, the author can learn from these good points and revise the story.
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Post by Cecilia_L »

JordanKSmith wrote:
29 Dec 2018, 11:39
That's too bad. I can sympathize with the temptation to make the wording overly flowery. It might be fun to write that way, but the reader needs to be considered. Hopefully, the author can learn from these good points and revise the story.
Thanks for your comment. :tiphat:

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Post by Miriam Molina »

Unless the food has poison in it, I'd rather not read about it in a thriller. The weather would matter if a sniper's bullet misses because of it. (Obviously, I've been reading many C/T/M/H stories.)

And I see the period in bold, LOL!

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Post by Bianka Walter »

Oh, dear. I would hate to read a book like this. You didn't mention, but if the descriptions of the food were good, I would just be tempted to eat through the whole thing.
I love this review, thanks!
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Post by Cecilia_L »

Miriam Molina wrote:
30 Dec 2018, 20:32
Unless the food has poison in it, I'd rather not read about it in a thriller. The weather would matter if a sniper's bullet misses because of it. (Obviously, I've been reading many C/T/M/H stories.)

And I see the period in bold, LOL!
Miriam, your comment made me smile--thanks! Yes, I'm glad I'm not the only one.
:lol2:

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Post by Cecilia_L »

Bianka Walter wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 03:16
Oh, dear. I would hate to read a book like this. You didn't mention, but if the descriptions of the food were good, I would just be tempted to eat through the whole thing.
I love this review, thanks!
Actually, some of the food did sound good, but after awhile my eyes started to glaze over.
I have that tendency when I'm watching cooking shows. :)

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Post by sarahmarlowe »

Thank you for your review! I will avoid this one. Although the plot sounds interesting, and I like having a short read now and again, poor editing just kills my reading enjoyment.
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Post by Willy 1 »

The beginning of the review seemed interesting, but as you expose the bad sides to the book, it becomes less interesting to me. I hope the author takes into consideration your observations. Great review.

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Post by Cecilia_L »

sarahmarlowe wrote:
02 Jan 2019, 18:16
Thank you for your review! I will avoid this one. Although the plot sounds interesting, and I like having a short read now and again, poor editing just kills my reading enjoyment.
I can relate. Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Cecilia_L »

Willy_wanker wrote:
02 Jan 2019, 19:17
The beginning of the review seemed interesting, but as you expose the bad sides to the book, it becomes less interesting to me. I hope the author takes into consideration your observations. Great review.
Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

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