Sunday, 1 March 2015

Those 'phones are so easy to hack

A dead hack, a private eye on the run, a sinister billionaire. It's front page news.

Liv Paxton, whipcrack smart chief of London's biggest murder squad, is hunting the men who slaughtered the reporter at the very heart of the celebrity hacking scandal. As the killers claim another victim, Liv discovers the reporter had been tortured by professional interrogators before he died. What secret story was so dangerous that it cost him his life?

Liv quickly finds herself of up against powerful and implacable enemies - on both sides of the law. Enlisting the help of her best friend, newspaper boss Louise Brighouse, Liv enters the world of a mysterious Tartar oligarch and crosses swords with a psychotic underworld kingpin who vows vengeance on her. Her own life is on the line as she peels back layers of deceit and treachery to unveil the most terrifying criminal conspiracy London has ever seen.

Hacked is the first in the series of Liv Paxton crime novels.

What I did enjoy about this book was that it was written by an English author, set in London and had an English accent, a real treat after reading numerous American murder mystery novels (which is by far my favourite genre).

But I think that is where the fabulous end, this novel is inspired by a recent high profile newspaper hacking story that rocked the UK.  The heroine is a foul mouthed ranking officer in the police force.  She is the ubiquitous female rocking her work but having an abysmal track record with men and is wary of starting a new relationship.  This begs two questions (1) why does she fall in love with this unknown entity in such a short space of time; and (2) why would such an intelligent police officer have a newspaper deputy editor for her best friend?

This is a reasonably fast paced novel which, although interesting to read, is not totally satisfying.  In this type of thriller do we really want the politics and intrigue damped down by details of what these people wear when they go our or what they are feeling about Mr X or Mrs Y?

This book had 'great potential' (as Thor said in Stargate SG1) but fell short.  The plot was shallow and some of the dialogue was unrealistic and did we need quite so many swear words.  The descriptive parts interrupted the flow of the narrative too frequently.  Although this is an ARC, there should still be some quality in the work presented, however, in this instance the numerous typesetting, grammatical ad punctuation errors were so off putting.  This included introducing a new helicopter manufacturer.

Due to these issues it was difficult to follow dialogue as it was unclear who was speaking when.  Another problem was the various and varied points of view which was also unsettling as, once again the reader is not clear as to which point of view we are on at any particular moment in time.  Had she novel been more interesting these issues would not have been so glaringly obvious.

Therefore, due to all these issues I cannot recommend this novel.  Next time please publisher’s make sure that the proof is more read worthy.

Full Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review.

I rated this 3 Stars on Netgalley and 'It was OK' on Amazon (3 Stars) and Goodreads (2 stars).

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