Friday, January 15, 2016

Book review: "Hunters in the Dark" by Lawrence Osborne

If I tried to guess at what this book was going for I'd say it's basically an homage to Talented Mr Ripley in an Apocalypse Now setting. Except not quite as good as it sounds.

The star of the show of this book is a 28 year old English man named Robert. Robert is having a bit of a quarter life crisis. His whole life is just blah. He lives in a blah little village and teaches at a blah little school and nothing in his life is really exciting. So he saves up and decides to go to Asia for his whole summer break to try to reevaluate his life. After almost coming to the end of his vacation he goes to a casino with this last little bit of money and makes a bit of a windfall. Which would be enough to get him settled comfortably in this exotic and exciting part of this world, leaving all of the blahs behind...

So he decides to do it. But then there's complications. Corrupt policemen, drugs, murder most foul, the ghosts of the Khmer Rogue, disgusting sounding hotels, a beautiful woman, a mysterious American and a tailor who probably should have been a detective.

One of my disappointments in this book was that the most interesting characters were not explored like they could have been. The Scottish ex-soldier with shrapnel in his brain who set up a B&B in a minefield surrounded by his multiple bastard children? Yes, more than 12 pages of him would have been appreciated.

Also, I must confess that I had a small bias. I flipped the back of the book open and saw that this author had written a nonfiction book that I had read and , honestly, kind of detested.  I tried to keep an open mind while reading the rest of the book but in my head I was kind of like "oh THIS jerk...grrr".

It was mildly entertaining. It was better then his terrible nonfiction book. It plays out exactly the way you think it will, so they kind of oversell the "Hitchcockian twists and turns".

Blogging for Books provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion

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