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Sunday 23 December 2018

Oblique by Neal Vandar

So...a guy with a mundane, ordinary life meets up with a former school peer after twenty-five years. They go to a French restaurant, and when he comes back from the gents, the whole restaurant's clientele, staff and his school chum are slumped over their meals or prone, dead. Now...why isn't there anything about it in the news and why has he been spared…or was he meant to be amongst them?

A pretty good start to the book, I thought. I can't wait to read how this evolves, but unfortunately, it went downhill from there. He flees from the restaurant, gets into a bit of situation with some violent thugs, spends the night in a motel but wakes up miles away. Stranger still, he sees a missing poster of the girl he's just had…or was about to have…dinner with. Are you keeping up? Probably not and you probably don't even wish to. Neither did I. It was like the author was making it up as he went along. There was no plot structure, trite dialogue, no character development…most of the characters were pretty unpleasant, including the main one, in fact. Stumbling from one unbelievable situation to another with even more unbelievable explanations, I ended up hoping someone would just shoot him. There appeared to be enough people wanting to, after all.

There was a good plot in there somewhere, but it lost its way. Written first-person POV, I expected to connect with the main character, but he expected way too much from his reader. In the end, it was all a bit silly.

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