Saturday, October 08, 2011

Sinema: The Northumberland Massacre by Rod Glenn.

There's a newcomer to the small Northumberland village of Haydon...a charming novelist and film buff, researching a crime thriller about a serial killer on a rampage in a remote Northumberland community. The only trouble is, it's a work in progress and it's going to be non-fiction. 392 men, women and children stand in his way to achieving a sadistic dream. 

So, here we are with another crime thriller. A nice touch at the beginning is the Author's Note and at location 71...

The horrific scenes you will bear witness to are not for the faint-hearted. And yet, there are no monsters or goblins, no vampires or werewolves. This is real horror. Real life. So take heed, and if you should hesitate, turn back now and pick up a Harry Potter. Ms Rowling’s wonderful books are positive and upbeat, with a real sense of hope that good will overcome. This ain’t. This is dark and dirty. Enjoy!   Rod

...But sadly this crime thriller is rather run of the mill and like a made-for-TV movie. It is a bit like Eastenders but set in a small remote village in Northumberland. It does not raise the bar as a crime thriller and is rather bland. What this novel lacks is an author's voice, his writing style is not distinctive. It is however an easy read and although it is quite ordinary, you feel that Rod is trying hard. But this story is bulked out by to many references to films and songs. 

The planning by Hanibal Whitman is good but how come so many people befriend him? It is rather strange how all these characters befriend a stranger in the pub and accept him. This is not quite the reality of rural pubs in remote villages. The pace of this novel is okay and villagers become known to the killer and the reader, rather than be random victims of slaughter. But how can Carol Belmont afford to visit the pub so often and buy all those drinks? 

The sub-plots are good but the details are too convenient. Just by chance the pub had a side entrance for Hanibal to slip out unnoticed. The ending provides a reason for the sequel, which is also convenient.

Humour is there but it is quite shallow. Another problem is the banning on smoking in enclosed public spaces across Britain. At location 471 the text reads...

Seeming to hover in the doorway, a picture of nerves, she took the hesitation as an opportunity to light up a Lambert & Butler with a trembling hand.

...and throughout this book there was a lot of smoking going on, even in the pub.

The motive for The Northumberland Massacre, sadly is very plausible. Sinema was written in 2010 and is a 495KB Kindle ebook. It is an okay book and I will vote this novel 3 stars on good reads.

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