No God In Tannam
By Jimmy Macram
Tim Landry is a cop who steps over the line to get the job done. In this story, he’s up against the mob. Who blew up a building? Who murdered a gangster? He’s also contending with his wife who hires the same P.I. he hired to follow her. Trying to hold off dissension in his own ranks, heat from above, and avoiding the tempting attractive bad girl…Landry is in a fight for his job, his life, and his city.
A classic good/bad cop against bad guys. This one is complex with a lot of angles and I had a bit of a problem following all of the connections. Part of the problem was that this was a shorter novel than most and could have been fleshed out to give more ‘story’ to the large cast.
Tim Landry: detective, married with children, 34, 6’2”, ran track in high school
Stephen Fitzgerald: Assistant District Attorney, 6′, black hair, 32
Donovan McCullough: 6’4”, 29, cop, almost 250 pounds, brown hair, bearded
Shaun Peters: Private detective, blond
Derek Bailey: cop, black, 6’4”, married, large frame
Several other characters, some of them with fewer descriptions than others. I thought the characters were fine. Each had a definite role and didn’t blend into each other. I thought characters worked well together.
The problem with characters was that one was introduced halfway through the story, then worked into the main plot and I didn’t think that worked. I also thought that some back story on more of the characters or more definite involvement in the main plot would have worked. There was back story alright…and that led to more problems.
Not too bad. Some good voices, good interplay, especially between Landry and Bailey. The ‘baddies’ had some good voices.
Profanity. Titled chapters. Some punctuation errors. Shaun was spelled Shawn at first, then Shaun the rest of the time.
The ending was good, but I don’t think the conflict between Landry and his wife was succinctly handled. She all but dropped out of the story in the last third of the book. Ditto with Peters.
The two major things that brought this book down in rank were:
1. Present tense. It was present throughout the entire book. This book was a lot of THEN and NOW story, which is fine. I have a book the same way. However, I use present tense in the NOW sections and past tense in the THEN sections. I think that would have worked here. With present tense being throughout, I lost a bit of when the scene was taking place. The time passing in the story was difficult to follow, especially when there was a lot of THEN story. Specific dates would have been an immense help in keeping the time line straight.
2. This book took a very distant omnipresent POV. Very distant. A lot of telling what was going on instead of showing. I was very far from the characters. Ditto with setting. Never did we get in close to emotions or pain or fear. It was clinical in the telling and I didn’t feel anything for the characters. I wanted to despise Landry for the heel and cheat he was and root for him to catch the bad guy. But I didn’t because there was no feelings from him. Ditto with his wife. Her emotions never were shown.
I think the author has some good characters to use. He has a good story to tell. He has sequel potential, but unless we see some personality innards from the characters, the stories will be flat and emotionless and these are not characters to waste.