Robert Lane,
Cooler Than Blood
(Mason Alley, 2014)

While the basic plot structure is solid in Robert Lane's Cooler Than Blood -- the second book in a series -- the writing is choppy. I found that very disconcerting initially, and although I got used to it, I didn't come to love it.

I also should mention that it begins with nasty sexual violence toward women, and that such is a part of the plotline.

While this is mostly in a close first-person voice, it opens with a third-person look inside the mind of a horrible character, which is off-putting. Then sporadically in the narrative we go into another third-person voice, supposedly that of a young woman who had been through a lot of horror, and that voice doesn't ring true at all.

But then, in general, the female characters are fairly inexplicable in what they do and how they react. The male characters, including our narrator, make somewhat more sense but also seem vague.

The plot is pretty good in general -- lots of twists, with the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. I do feel, though, that matters are resolved only via luck (or having the author on their side).

It's not a bad novel. In some ways it's pretty good, but the voices -- both of the author and of the characters in the book -- really need some work. All in all, it just doesn't come together as a coherent narrative.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

4 April 2015

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