Happy New Year! And the first book review of 2013!

I hope 2013 it is a good year for all.

As I sit here surrounded by all the mod-cons, a new TV, a Nexus 7, iPhone and full house insurance, I have cracked out the old laptop to write my first post in 2013. I can think of no better way to start the year than by reviewing a new book. By deft combination of espionage and extortion I managed to get my hands on a review copy from the excellent and very astute people at Jonathan Cape.

The chances of my return to the audience at Tall Tales are, for various reasons, remote so I think I am safe to be honest…

 

The Dazzle (Robert Hudson)

“Sex, drugs and tuna” is The Dazzle’s tagline and it pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin, which for a delicate wallflower like myself was a little off-putting at the start, however, the prologue had already hooked me in (and it is inevitable that, without even trying, every other word written in this review will now have fishing connotations) so I wasn’t going to give up on the book.

It took me a little while to work out who all the characters  were and what their relationship to other characters might be. Being honest, I had to go back and check that the character involved in the reveal at the end was actually mentioned earlier in the book, which, of course, they were at great length. Weirdly, having looked back, it all suddenly made sense as the excellently organised story that it was.

Some of The Dazzle was written in letter format (which shouldn’t have surprised me). Personally, I find it takes a special sort of book written in that style to keep my interest (Warhorses of Letters, picking a completely random example) and I have to admit I lost the plot somewhere near the centre. In contrast though, when nearing the end, the style of plot reveal changes and it is bloody clever. I enjoyed that the most.

The book uses some words even Google itself won’t shed any light on. I liked that and am, in a strange way, kind of happy that I still have no idea what the words mean because I can guess and my wallflower is already wilting.  That was not an intentional euphemism. The author obviously had fun with boat names as well which was enjoyable. Having finished the book, I found myself hoping that the little team of characters might be written in to a sequel.

Anyway, I maintain that any book that mentions giant squid has to be a good book by default and this doesn’t buck the trend.

The Dazzle by Robert Hudson is released next month and I really do think you should give it try.

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