Thursday, 27 January 2011

Book Review: Blank Slate (A Kyle Jackle thriller) by Zack Hamric

Blank Slate (A Kyle Jackle Thriller)This another book I bought as a cheapie to try a new author, the product description appealing to the side of me that likes a thriller, especially with an international dimension thrown in.

The book starts with Kyle Jackle coming round from a serious beating with a nasty case of amnesia. The scene then switches to a woman running for her life in Naples, before moving back to Florida. Kyle has to discover who he is & why he appears to have links to the Russian mob. The story is largely told from his viewpoint, with parts of the story picked up by other characters such as Miami Dade homicide detective Manny Rivera. The action moves from south Florida through to south America, as Kyle picks up the threads of his life and decides he needs to go forward to rediscover his past. The chase is then on as he sails towards a confrontation with the mob.

The book covers the links between the mafia and the Russian mob, drug smuggling and people trafficking and sailing, which I am guessing is a particular passion of the author's from the loving detail it is mentioned in. It paints a vivid picture of the seedier side of life and is action-packed from the start. I warmed to Kyle's character but was less impressed with the female characters, all strippers or woman with impressive physical assets but little substance. Tasha was the main female character and she was meant to be something of a mystery but even with the reveal on her close to the end of the book I still didn't find her credible.

My other complaint about the book was the number and variety of typos. It didn't start too badly but later in the book, unless I seriously lost attention and there was another character with a similar name, one character's name changed for a few pages before changing back again, and rogue apostrophes crept in. Usually although I notice typos a mile off I don't find them offputting, but when el Jefe became Jeff I couldn't take him too seriously anymore.

Overall I would consider reading more books by this author if reasonably priced as the general plot was good but the issues mentioned above somewhat detracted from my enjoyment.

ADDED: One of the things I love about finding new authors via the kindle is how interactive the experience becomes. In praise of Zack he has responded to my review, something I'd never have expected in the past from traditionally published authors. The other beauty of e-books is how easy it is to update them. He says he will be doing an update soon and I have passed on details of the typos I spotted where I could find them again, so hopefully soon the paragraph above on typos will be null and void. I have read a couple of other kindle books that have been updated and if you contact Amazon they will resend the new version free of charge!

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