This is the second book in the series written by Wolf Schimanski. He’s a wonderful storyteller who writes a fast paced, very convoluted tale that brings you back time and again until you’ve managed to finish it. The story itself is self-contained within the cover of this book, yet there are references to the previous book, and I think a few hints at the next which does help you know this is not a stand alone. You do not, however, have to read the first in the series, Meter of Deception to be able to follow along with this one. That is always a wonderful find when discovering new series.
Yes, the pace is fast – from the first page, things are going wrong for the central cast, and the evil doers are introduced early on. There’s a few points along the way that made me wonder if this was a mystery/crime book, or a paranormal mystery book, though since I tend to like the fantasy genre, I had not problems with the brief references. It just left a few lingering questions unanswered as everything wrapped up. (Perhaps this will be answered in the next installment?)
The characters, both good and bad, are well developed, with enough quirks that you could almost see the neighbor or a familiar friend in some of them. A little over done on the libido for my taste, but there is nothing really graphic for this. Wolf does a wonderful job taking you right up to the bedroom door and then drawing the curtain, so your imagination kicks in. It’s just the frequency it is referenced that kicked me out of the story a couple of times. (Low tolerance, so do not let this deter you one bit. The rest of the tale is very well done, and deserves a read.) The bad guys are definitely on the bad side, it’s the good guys that make you wonder if this is developing into an antihero style tale, or if it really is a good vs. bad guys style tale. Makes things much more interesting as you go through it.
Just as the characters are well developed, though they may appear shallow at times, the plot is just as well developed. About the point you think it’s done, and will be making a leisurely stroll to the finish, it takes a sharp twist with a hard bounce. While it’s galloping along, you’re wondering if you managed to keep your stomach where it belonged this time as you run through the next round of valleys and hills that make up this unexpectedly knotty roller coaster ride in the plot. Even down to the final pages, you do not know if everything has resolved, or if there is one more, just one more hard bounce in the plot for you to weather.
Yes, this is a good tale, well written, and well rounded. However, there are a few points of personal preference that keep me from giving it full ratings. The first – the oversexed characters. I’ve known a few people in my life like the ones described in the book, so they are realistic. But, as my tolerance is low, this was a bit off putting for me. The second is the down home style of writing. After talking with a few other avid readers about the way this is written, I’m guessing I’d be one of Hemingway’s detractors too. There were times when the flow of the sentence structure struck me as needing at least one more hard edit. However, this is the style the book is written in, and it persists throughout. It does detract from the readability for me, but does not detract from the story itself.
Overall, for this memorable tale, I can give it a solid three out of five stars due to the issues noted above. If you happen to like the folksy style writing, a fun mystery, and a bit of suspense, then make sure to head over to Amazon and pick up your copy today. Don’t let this naysayer turn you off from a wonderful tale.
And, as a small bonus, if you happen to want to learn more about the author or his mysterious character “The Assassin Mikhail”, you can find their interviews here:
Author Interview: Wolfgang Schimanski
Character Interview: Mikhail
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