Monday, 29 August 2016

Shades of Gray by Andy Holloman

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US
This was a slow-burner…I mean that in a good way, however. It ambled along at a steady pace, all the while holding my attention until the wow-I-never-expected-that ending, despite it linking back to the teasing prologue.

John’s travel business takes a nosedive after 9/ll when no one wants to get on a plane. He needs to stay afloat, and when his daughter, Lucy, his beautiful daughter, the light of his life, his sole reason for living, becomes ill with a life-threatening condition, he needs money for her treatment. Time to start calling in money owed to him and his business, in particular a substantial amount by Wanda Johnson, whose income is ‘earned’…let’s say rather dodgily. She convinces John that if they partnered up, she’d be able to pay him back and he’d have enough to take care of his daughter. A decent law-abiding man has a difficult decision to make. But without a viable business and therefore no income, he has no hope of helping Lucy. Desperate times call for desperate measures…

I enjoyed this despite a) the rather stilted dialogue—it lacked ease and naturalness…it was almost as if the characters were reading from a script and b) untidy editing. But the diversity of the two main characters was intriguing: it was hard to imagine how two people from very different backgrounds, with very different histories, were going to work. But they did…albeit dangerously.

I gather this is the author’s debut novel…started in 2003 and then shelved in 2006, before resurrecting it in 2011. A book with a rather ragged writing history which might have interrupted the flow somewhat, but a worthwhile read nonetheless.


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