Clear Line Of Sight
By D. C. Black
Attorney Frank Miller takes on a case to sue Internet social network companies for the ease in which sexual predators con children into becoming victims. However, the entity funding the case is a mystery. Miller hires a private investigator who is subsequently killed in an auto accident. Before he died, he left information regarding the investigation upon a computer and Sapphire, a teenager stumbles upon it. She pairs with a geocacher and soon, they are involved in something that soon will threaten their lives. And what shadowy organization is working behind the monitor to manipulate people’s lives?
There are some other side stories in this book, each, like the ‘main’ plot dealt with the Internet and some of the problems people experience.
The problem I had was because there were lots of things happening I found it difficult keeping everything straight, remembering the minor plots from chapter to chapter. Maybe if the author had settled on one or two major plot lines it would have been easier. For me, this was a convoluted book with some things having a spiderweb connection to others while other scenes had no connection to anything else.
Costa: detective, smokes
Frank Miller: lawyer, smokes, married
Sapphire Louise Gray: 16, plays keyboard, has a sister who disappeared, gray eyes, long black hair
Don Redmond: home secretary, married with children
Jake Clarke: geocacher, musician, owns a motorcycle, parents dead, has a brother
Claire: freelance journalist
Hank Taylor: private investigator, former MP in the National Guard, married
…and many, many more, some only mentioned as he or she. The problem here is that because of the plethora of characters, I found it difficult to keep everybody straight and remember, “Oh, yeah, this person was in an earlier chapter doing something.” Many characters are minor or are in part of a scene and, as mentioned below, don’t play a big enough role to be necessary. Through much of the book, there were characters introduced in almost every chapter. Three characters I don’t think were related to each other had the same last name.
One of the characters, Jethro, is a computer guru who helps Jake, Sapphire, and Miller. At first he comes off as secretive, intelligent, efficient. Throughout the book, though, his personality is all over the map. Later, it’s revealed he lives with his mother and tells her a lot of what’s going on. His stable personality falls apart.
The problem with so many characters is that individual voices don’t come through. Problems with tag lines as mentioned below.
First of a trilogy. Some profanity. A few misspellings. Punctuation problems (Incorrectly used or missing. Some of the missing would help clarify sentences). Commas after an exclamation point or a period in dialogue is not needed. A comma is needed instead of a period when there is a tag line, but not outside the quotes. Capitalization problems.
The prologue is set in 1978 but the next chapter doesn’t say the year had changed. I figured it out after the technology inserted itself into the story, but my mind, for a second, was still in ’78.
POV shifts abruptly at times and threw me because at one point, just when I was starting to be involved with one character, I’m pulled out of it only to discover the character wasn’t an important part of the story. Some of this was due to the various scenarios on the wide usage, good and bad, of the Internet. However, some of it was distracting and pulled me away from the main story.
Continuity problem: Hank is shown in one chapter taking a flash drive from a computer in an electronics store and running out the door only to be run over by a car. Then in a later chapter, Sapphire finds the flash drive still in the computer.
There are a lot of scenes that didn’t make sense or truly didn’t add anything to main story and they served only to confuse and distract me.
I think with everything taken into account I must go with: