Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The below is a reblog of a post I made on December 7, 2014. Enjoy!
I liked this book by Tami Hoag. But it would have been so much better with a little editing. There were POV errors aplenty ~ not the dreaded head bounces, but simply things we should not have seen from a particular POV. If we are inside a character’s head, we can’t know about things they didn’t notice. It’s jarring to read “She was oblivious to _____.” If she’s oblivious to it, and we’re in her head, then we can’t know about it either!
This all could have been so easily fixed by having another character mention the necessary facts afterward. In fact, when our protag didn’t see that she nearly ran down a shopper in her haste to follow someone, the cop tells her about it when he pulls her over. That also should have been the first time the reader hears about her near miss.
Another issue for me was the nonstop harping on how rotten the protag looked because of her grief and how every moment of her life was soaked in despair. Stop telling us that! Show it and we know it. Hoag did a much better job with the protag’s daughter, showing us viscerally how miserable she was rather than saying the same thing 500 different ways.
The story itself was fascinating though. Unlike with a romance novel, I was totes unable to predict the ending to this book. It could have gone so many different ways and I could not stop reading until I found out what happened. That is the mark of a successful mystery/thriller, I have to say. I read some of Darkest Road before I went to sleep Friday night, but my entire Saturday morning was blown in my need to finish it. I had to know!
I’m on the fence about reading more Tami Hoag though. I kinda think it would be better to find a mystery writer who doesn’t make elementary POV mistakes.
One last thing: “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior,” sez the cop in Darkest Road. It’s good to be reminded of this now and again.
Image credit to Pexels.