Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Global Predator by Jack MacLean


As the CIA’s drones hunt for Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the Al Qaeda leader, in Pakistan’s northwest frontier, a British aid worker is seized by the local Taliban. Sally’s ex-boyfriend, Wilkins, is on the run after scamming his London bank. Now he finds himself reluctantly caught up in an armed raid to rescue Sally as the Taliban takes a school of girls hostage. As the net closes in on Wilkins has to find a way to save himself and the woman he loves.

Review by Rochelle Weber:

First, I feel as though the blurb is misleading.  Wilkins is a greedy, selfish man who uses his ex-girlfriend, Sally, to hide him after he’s ripped off the bank for which he works.  When he decides to go to Pakistan and help her with the charity schools for girls she runs, it’s not because he loves her and has missed her; it’s because he figures he can disappear there and not be extradited, even if someone does manage to find him.

When he gets there, he supports both Sally’s schools and the local war lord who has ties to the Taliban and Al Qaeda—the latter to save his own skin.  He pretends to convert to Islam for the same reason.  Throughout the book, every move Wilkins makes is fueled by one aim—to escape alive with his ill-gotten gains.  It’s only at the very end of the book that he finally decides he cares enough about Sally to save her, and even then he does so by condemning his former co-worker and co-conspirator to death at the hands of Al Qaeda.  I did not like this man and only kept reading because I cared about Sally and the CIA’s quest to take out the Al Qaeda leader responsible for implementing the 9/11 attacks on the USA.

I didn’t forget there’s a second.  I suspect this book was self-published.  When I saw all of the editing errors, I gave the author the benefit of the doubt since I was reading what I was fairly certain was an Advanced Review Copy.  But then when I transferred the blurb, I noticed grammar errors there and wondered.  So, I went to Amazon and compared the “Look Inside” sample and found the same errors.  The book is rife with them.  They are glaring and distracting.  It’s not just a matter of British usage versus US usage.  I’m a Britophile.  I watch as much British TV on PBS and BBC America as I do US TV, and at a car show I asked the owner of a classic car whether it had a rumble seat or a boot.  I also know the difference between US and British spelling.

And…I know when the number or tense of a subject and verb should agree, and when extra words should have been removed in the rewrite.  And I could tell Mr. MacLean a thing or two about the overuse of the phrase “began to.”  Don’t just “begin to.”  DO it!  Use an active verb, and shoot the guy; don’t begin to shoot!  It’s weak and wordy.

Yeah, I’m a tough audience.  But really; if you’re self-publishing, hire an editor.  And if you’re editing, buy a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style and read it.  And then find some books on strong writing versus weak and wordy writing and read them.  Do your authors a favor and edit their books.  Thanks for letting me vent.

Length:  269 Pages
Kindle Price:  2.51

Thanks for visiting. Rose, Julie, Donna, & Rochelle

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