Cold (A Joe Tiplady Thriller Book 1) By John Sweeney.

Cold (Joe Tiplady)

This one, not good. Review below, and on Amazon here.

Wow, this one is bad. This is the first time I’ve been supremely disappointed by a Kindle First selection, and for once I’m glad I didn’t pay a cent for it. If by choosing this I gave the author any money, I wish I could retract it. If anything, I, the reader, should be compensated for my wasted minutes.

This goes on my list of–3 maybe?–books I didn’t read to completion out of well over a thousand. But this one takes the cake because I only made it a part way through chapter 2. It’s THAT bad. Here’s a few problems you can expect in the first, let’s be generous and say ten pages:

Plot confusion–I read the first few pages several times and I had no idea what was going on. I think at one point someone was waving a gun, then a few sentences later the guy is playing with his dog? Where did the danger go? Maybe it was a flashback with no cues? I don’t know. Maybe, it was all a dream. Who knows. It was really hard to tell what was going on. The next chapter people are driving in a truck I guess, past a Mormon temple or something, and there’s something about a character serving a 2 year mission in a very obscure region. That could mean something later, but I won’t burn my eyes out on this horror to find out.

Character issues–The “people” act really weird. All of them. Every single one of the characters introduced save for MAYBE the protagonist act like they should be locked up in an asylum. Scratch that, let’s include him too. Because this guy obviously has a colorful past–there’s hints of him being an assassin or a contract killer–and when he’s followed by three people he decides to… No, not run. Try again. Kill them Jason Bourne style? Nope, go on give it another guess. Reverse the hunters and tail them instead? Bzzzt, sorry, the correct answer is, throw snowballs at them. Twice. But not three times, he let’s that one fall to the ground next to him, because reasons.
Don’t get me started on the buffoons from chapter 2. I have no idea who these people are supposed to represent or if they’re young-ish or super old. But more on that later.

Inaccuracies–Keep in mind that this is not even two entire chapters I slogged through. The depiction of Mormons is downright horrendous. Who are these people? I think he came up with the idea that Mormons worship the human Moroni for some reason? I don’t know, it’s hard to tell. Either way, the “Mormons” are like a mix between bayou billies and militia minutemen. So as far as I know, no group of people on the planet. This alone would be hard to get past from a normal author, but I was confused so skipped to the About the Author page and it says he’s a journalist. A journalist! Really? For what, Weekly World News? It says BBC, but, well, his articles must be a different caliber. Either that or he has a well-connected family, like the queen’s nephew or some other royalty. Apparently the author even met the guy he based his “Mormon” off of, so I guess he based all of his knowledge on this guy who is a horrid representation of a large group of people. He must not have had his fact-checker for fiction. I’d hate to see how other peoples are depicted, but again, Eyes+Burn=No thanks.

Writing Style–Now this can make or break a novel. I can live with inaccuracies and a little confusion if the writing is good, because that usually means these things will be cleared up as well. And, yep, ding-a-ling-a-ling! Correct, it is BAD. Adjectives out of place, unusual word choice, muddled descriptions, yep, check all the boxes. Don’t believe me? Here’s a few glorious snippets to decipher, “A kind of sorcery, this, the dearth of engine roar not ten miles from the heart of the city” (Second sentence of the book) or this one, “the hood of her coat fell back to reveal anthracite hair, pinned, framing a sallow face of utmost melancholy.” Uh, thesaurus much? But maybe the best of all (So far, I gave up really, really soon remember, since it’s, yeah, so bad) is this gem, and keep in mind, this one’s taken from the beginning, it actually starts like this, “Sat behind the wheel was a slight, wiry man in his sixty-fourth year”. Hear hear, yes, quite. Indubitably. Oh! At least I know how old the guy is, because I couldn’t tell from the writing if he was a kid or an old man. Jolly good! This book can now have a quarter of a copper star instead of zero.

Did I mention it’s bad?

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