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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: Hooker Fire and Water by David Scott


Book synopsis from Smashwords

Marc Hooker: Self-proclaimed marketing expert, aspiring entrepreneur, “accidental” womaniser and occasional amateur detective. In this, his first outing we find him starting the new year having recently lost his job, in the dog house with partner, Suzy and not looking forward to starting a temporary post in an apparently sleepy backwater of British industry. But Rachel, the beautiful girl he is replacing, was drowned in the nearby river only a few weeks before. It isn’t long before Hooker discovers it wasn’t the first suspicious death at the factory. That, along with theft, affairs and office rivalries soon has him suspecting murder, especially when an old love rival turns up unexpectedly. It isn’t long before his investigations set off a series of events that threaten not just his relationship with Suzy but his career and ultimately his very life.


My review

2 out of 5 stars

Typos; oh my, the typos. You should never even self-publish a book without having it proofread. If you can’t afford to have it professionally done, have someone else you trust to know the grammar and spelling of the book’s native language do it. There were obvious wrong words because spell check doesn’t catch a typo that creates a different correctly-spelled word. That goes for consistently misused words that show the author does know how to spell the wrong word. I understand that an British author will spell some words differently than an American one, realise and realize for instance, but when you don’t win, you lose, not loose in both dialects. At least the misuse of “loose” was consistent.

Proper editing would have perhaps also corrected the problem I had with the book; being longer than it needed to be. Many details were unnecessary or over-described. I was attracted to the marketing department angle of the story because I’m a fan of marketing and have worked in or with many marketing departments. It has never been my experience that the majority of married men in corporate life “can’t keep it in their pants” and so many women are eager to accommodate. I’ve never noticed any more infidelity in corporate life than anywhere else. Marc Hooker, the title character, “accidently” slept with not one, but two women in the first couple weeks of joining the company and after the infidelity tally was becoming laughable, I think I laughed even harder when a homosexual out of wedlock relationship was thrown in. Can we get more cliché?

I was frustrated because I really didn’t like the main character. His amateur detective work had him making snap judgments and acting on them when the reader could easily see that he was wrong, and his judgments were always wrong, even into the final chapters. As a junior sleuth, he should stick to his day-job; what little of his marketing ideas were in the chapters, they were much better than his problem-solving or logic skills. He had “ah-ha moments” through the whole book that never came to any type of fruition and the climax was so telegraphed I just wanted to leaf through it and say I’d finished the book. As expected, that climax was much longer than it needed to be, Hooker was wrong and “accidently survived.”

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