Monday, May 9, 2011

Saving Rachel by John Locke

Nutshell:  A computer whiz who specializes in hiding other people's money finds himself targeted and two women--his mistress and his wife--are used as leverage to get him to cough up the codes the bad guys need to access billions of dollars.  This is a really crappy book.  One star.

Review:  I do admire John Locke.  He has repeatedly said that his aim was to dominate the 99-cent ebook market, and he appears to have hit his goal repeatedly.  As he has proclaimed in various places, every seven seconds of every day, a John Locke book is bought.  However, if his other books are of the same caliber as Saving Rachel, then I'm stumped as to how that happened since he appears to have nearly no ability as a writer.

The entire book seems to have been written in shorthand:  instead of characterization, we get brand names thrown around.  Exposition is provided in long stretches of dialogue, as if Locke were too lazy to develop a story and instead just had the characters explain how reasonable the book's multiple implausibilities really are.  We're somehow supposed to care about the main character, who is having an affair with a beautiful blonde (as he claims, "I just banged Karen Vogel") yet somehow also really loves his wife Rachel.  Or maybe we're not supposed to care, in which case Locke succeeded. 

I would never denigrate anybody for getting people to read, and I still admire Locke for that.  It's just too bad that he's not a better writer.  If you're tired of the intellectual effort required by Mack Bolan books, then this is for you.  Otherwise, go to Taco Bell and spend your 99 cents on a bean burrito.  The guy who squirts refried beans into a tortilla, sprinkles cheese on it and wraps it up will display greater craftsmanship than Locke does here, and trust me, you'll feel better after the burrito.

Rating:  A solid one star.  This is not a book for serious readers.

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