One of the great things about going to literary events – whether they’re festivals, or book signings, or book launches, or gatherings of authors and bloggers – you get to meet and learn about new authors and, more importantly, new books. But it’s also one of the bad things, because you end up buying those books and then you’ve got to find time to read them.
An example of such an event was the Read Dating session I went to at the Deepings Literary Festival in May last year. When I left it, I hadn’t actually purchased a single book, but the reason for that was because I wanted to read them on my Kindle. So, over the following days, I downloaded books from most of the people I’d met there.
One of those authors was Ross Greenwood. I had heard of him because he’d cropped up a few times on some of the book blogs I read. But those mentions hadn’t been sufficient to tempt me to try one of his books. When you meet the author in person, that tends to give you a little more incentive. The book I downloaded was Abel’s Revenge. And I still haven’t read it, because before I got around to it, my Kindle died on me and I decided not to immediately replace it.
Since I got it, I’ve found the Kindle a lot handier to read from than a ‘proper’ book, so it’s been my default position to pick that up instead of one off the growing pile of paperbacks by my bed. The sudden demise meant I had no excuse for ignoring that pile, so I took the opportunity to work my way through it.
What it didn’t do, though, was stop me adding to my stockpile of eBooks and, seeing good things about Ross’s new release, The Snow Killer, I’d bought that too.
When I finally acquired the replacement Kindle, I started working my way randomly through my stockpile, and one of the first I came to was The Snow Killer, and that, ladles and jellyspoons, is how I ended up reading it just recently.
So, what did I think? I will confess that, initially, I was a little disappointed, but only because of the way the timeline was rolled out. The opening chapter felt more like a prologue, as if it should stand alone, probably to be referred back to later. But then another chapter followed that continued with what, to me, seemed part of the background to the eventual story. Why, I wondered, are you giving us the backstory now? Surely you should be drip-feeding all this to us later, otherwise there’ll be no surprises, no twists, no moments when the reader’s mouth drops open as he or she is blind-sided.
Nevertheless, the writing was good, the action was well-paced and the storyline still offered a degree of intrigue as I began to realise something was being held back. I just couldn’t tell exactly what it was. I couldn’t even tell you what made me think something was being held back. There was just something in the underlying tone. And when it came, my mouth did drop open.
This book is deceptive in so many ways. The apparent simplicity of the story, the ease of the writing, the ordinary, everyday nature of the characters, all combine to lull you into a false sense of security. I’m looking forward now to getting to Abel’s Revenge. Can’t wait to find out if Ross will do it to me again.
As it happens, Ross is one of the other authors at the Bourne Read Dating event this coming Saturday (15th Feb). If you’re in the neighbourhood – or easy travelling distance of it – you might want to come along and meet him yourself.