What a book!

April 17, 2010

‘Evolution of a Sad Woman’ by Gale Laure

Filed under: Fiction,Gale Laure,Mystery,New Authors — jacksheard @ 8:11 pm

So I was surfing around, checking my Twitter for WhatABook, when I stumbled into a chat with author Gale Laure. She explained the idea of her book, and I was fascinated.

Here it is: A woman is murdered, and five men from her past — a cop, a lawyer, a priest, an actor-turned-cab driver and a former NFL football player — all come together to attempt to solve her murder. Sounded great.

This is Laure’s first book — something she went through a hell of a lot to get finished, I found — and it is published by an independent publisher.

As I read the book, a few things jumped out at me. First, the story is good. Not great. It has a few holes, a few “well, duh” moments. And at times it simply tries way too hard. But if you let those things go a bit, the story will keep you reading.

Second, the production value is low with this effort. Editing is poor at times, misspellings and inconsistencies are annoying and little things — like the spacing after a period and the amount of space here and there for no reason — aren’t as professional as you’d expect in a published work.

Third, the writing is at times choppy. A few points here: Sentence lengths are monotonous. For long sections at a time, sentences are all short. At times, more pronouns would help — there are so few, it’s as if they were avoided at all costs. This was the case in dialogue and narrative. It made the conversations seem completely unrealistic. 

Fourth, some things just don’t make any sense. A boyfriend goes off to school in the sixties, we’re told, and plays football. He is later upset because he has to get out of the game due to injuries … in the nineties. How long did expect to play football? Was he planning to retire at 65? These types of things bother me. I look for a timeline, and if it’s spanning many decades, it needs to add up. This didn’t.

However, after offering up those criticisms, I will say this: I wanted to know what happened. So I’ll give her that much.

But not enough to recommend this book as is. I found it hard to read, mostly unbelievable and unpolished. If a book editor spent a few days with this, I think it could be a great read. There will be a sequel, so maybe Laure will put together a more complete and polished book then.

One star out of five. (But an E for effort, with a great idea.)

YOU MAY LIKE THIS BOOK IF: It’s really a romance novel, which I know nothing about and have never read and what I described above is OK in that style. Also, if you watch “Law & Order” and say, “Yep. That’s how it really works in real life. Cops are just like that.”

But I like you.

Link to Gale Laure’s Web site.

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