(Insert big sigh here)
I’ve always prided myself on trying out books by new-to-me authors, I’ve had especially good luck with finding audio books and e-books by new authors that I’ve particularly enjoyed (The Rule of Four, The Baker Street Letters (looking forward to the sequel), Anyone Out There?, and Dead of Winter, Haunts of the Heart and Redemption. However, the last three books by new-to-me authors that I’ve purchased at my local big-box bookstore have been bombshells. They sounded like what my dad would have called “humdingers” on the back. Great, compelling back cover blurbs about topics that interested me.
The Poe Shadow — I love Poe…not so much his writing, but just the romance of his character and the mystery of his death. This book promised soooo much and delivered soooo little. I slogged through to the end, disappointed, dismayed, and disgusted that I’d wasted the money on the book. It was a New York Times Bestseller, but I wonder how many other people who purchased the book were sucked in by the advertising?
Another literary figure book that I picked up from the cover and the back blurb was The Dracula Dossier. It combined TWO characters that are sure-fire sellers for me. Bram Stoker and Jack the Ripper. I opened the books with barely suppressed excitement on Saturday night as I had several hours of quiet time to read. The opening letter reminded me of some of the “newly discovered” Holmes stories, and I prepared to sit back and enjoy. It started out with such promise…a bloody knife. Cooey! I think my first indication that I’d been deceived was when the footnotes began appearing fast and furious at the bottom of every page. I’ve made it through 99 pages and will probably skim bits and pieces to see if it picks up — there’s some sort of secret society, a lunatic asylum, and a weird guy to follow, but I still feel as if I was terribly deceived by that back cover copy. Again, THIS is a NY Times Bestseller????
The last one was a horror novel I picked up as it involved a haunted house (rather an apartment complex) and I had high expectations. Audrey’s Door. The title wasn’t all that compelling but I guessed that it was using the premise of that “door to the other side” that drives a lot of horror/paranormal plots. I settled down to read. First off, I will say I loved the interspersion of old newspaper articles with the current story. For me, it lends some credibility to the fiction. Then, there’s the spooky residents, ghosts, and the odd building who is a character itself. I really, really, REALLY wanted to enjoy this book. I made it to page 255 before I realized that I was no longer interested in finishing the book. I can’t summon up any sympathy or empathy for the main character, Audrey. I think she is perhaps too flawed and too unlikable, in your face, stinking unlikable and, in my opinion, she never redeems herself. Then, there is her boyfriend who is infinitely more likable than the main character and should have kicked her to the curb a long time ago and never looked back. He deserves sooooo much more than what he gets in the end (Yeah, I skimmed to the disappointing ending, closed the cover, and was glad I didn’t have to open it up again).
Now, these aren’t proper reviews by any stretch of the imagination. I wish the authors great success, but, I won’t be paying money for anything else they write (sorry guys!). The next book I’ll be reading will be something by one of my tried and trues…Jeffrey Deaver, Dean Koontz, Patricia Cornwell, CS Harris….or….just to name a few.
Have a great reading week!
What have you read that’s been a disappointment or an unexpectedly rousing success?