One Decent Thing
By Michael Wills
1975. Richard Scott would like to reacquaint himself with his daughter. He hasn’t been a role model father. When Scott comes across a beached raft with two IRA men, he discovers some secret plans. Now, Scott is on the run from the IRA, but when they involve his daughter, his goal is to rescue her.
I have no issues with the plot. I think it’s a good premise and brings back some of the 70s thrillers.
Richard ‘Scottie’ Scott: university marketing agent, smokes, divorced, brother dead
Tina: Scottie’s daughter, long black hair, university student
Ellen: drives a blue Morris Minor
Jean: Scott’s ex wife
There are bad guys and there are college students, the latter of which help Scott through his problems. However, I have a problem with some of the characters. While I like some of the college students, I didn’t think they were distinctive enough. I wanted a bit more personality from each.
I wanted more from Tina. She was kidnapped and I wanted more than one scene with her where POV switched around. Should have been more from her, especially at the end. Especially since she’s on the cover.
The bad guys weren’t bad enough. Here are a group of IRA rebels planning on blowing up several targets, killing and injuring scores of people and yet at least one of them is worried that they shouldn’t hurt their kidnapped victim because she’s supposedly innocent?
Here’s another issue. The bad guys didn’t sound like bad guys. They sounded like executives discussing deals and deciding every now and then to be tough. The college students had some individual voices, but not enough. Jean was irritating because all she did was harangue Scott. If she was so desperate, and didn’t think her ex was going to be reliable, why didn’t she call the police or someone else for help?
Too many people spoke without using contractions and it didn’t seem natural.
Continuity problem with dialogue. In one scene the bad guys are talking and one says she doing okay and eating. A few paragraphs later, another bad guy asks if she’s eating.
No profanity. Some chapters and scene changes are heading by date.
While the author did a good job of getting around not having cell phones and computers, I thought the scenes with breaking the code were too complex. I enjoyed how they figured out the code, but it didn’t seem tense enough. A lot of the action didn’t seem too intense.
Clean writing with no errors that I caught.
I just had problems with character and dialogue and, though I won’t play spoiler, I thought the ending was a bit abrupt. It might have been drawn out a bit. The way it was written didn’t work for me. I’m not saying the ending wasn’t an interesting way to end the book, but another way of writing might have made more impact.
I considered ranking this a camouflage, but because of the issues with dialogue and characters I must drop it down one.