By Joe Mansour
James Calhoun, former soldier. Members of a strange cult have killed his ex wife’s husband and threatened his daughter. They want to use her in a ritual sacrifice. However, they have made an offer to Calhoun: bring them another girl to replace his own. How far will Calhoun go to save his daughter?
Hmm, very interesting. A little suspense, mystery, thriller, maybe something else in the mix. I think the premise is good, but there’s not much support throughout.
James Calhoun: Black, former soldier, has prosthetic legs and partial prosthetic hand, anger problems, divorced with daughter
Rhonda: James’ ex wife, married, blonde
Graham ‘Mac’ Mackenzie: former soldier, smokes, drives a 4×4 truck, black hair, brown eyes, married, tattoos
Kate Delaware: brown eyes, gray hair, elderly
There are a few more characters. A problem I had with the characters: physical descriptions on some of the supporting characters but not much on the main one other than the injuries suffered. No hair or eye color, weight, height, build. Ditto on the girl chosen for the sacrifice. The other problem I had was the characters didn’t act like they probably should have. For instance: Rhonda just learned her husband was killed and her only child threatened. Yet, she doesn’t sound very frantic over the phone and when Calhoun arrives at the house, takes time to make coffee. Then she spends a long time getting to the point of the situation regarding her daughter. The girl chosen for the sacrifice, Sarah (not Calhoun’s daughter), who is around six or seven, should be absolutely terrified when being kidnapped and locked in a car trunk, but accepts a stranger’s (Mrs. Delaware) friendship pretty quickly after being handed over. Sarah should be crying and screaming for her mother but accepts cocoa without a fuss. Later in the book, the girl is able to sleep with multiple gunshots resounding throughout the house – not believable.
Problems with punctuation. i.e.: “I guess it is.” He said… There should be a comma after the word is and the H should be a small letter. This was done throughout the book.
Actually, except for some explanation of the cult, I found the dialogue irritating, some of the profanity forced.
Other punctuation mistakes. Unnecessary profanity. Run on sentences. Two or three put together and separated by commas when they should have been individual statements
The kidnapping should have been more drawn out with more emotion felt by Calhoun before, during, and after. Other scenes went by too fast, especially the actions scenes.
The suspense was lacking, the danger. I had expected the girl to be in mortal danger when the rescue happens, but there was a strange twist in plot that threw me and the ending fell flat. This book could have been so much better had the author drawn out the scenes, added much more tension and heightened the danger.
As with a previous book, the only thing keeping this out of the lowest rank is no spelling errors.