SEVERED PAST - Anthony R Jansen
As a reader and reviewer, the thing that stays always in the back of my mind is how incredibly hard it must be to write a book. To get from the opening line to "the end" resolving all of the threads, keeping track of all of the characters, getting everybody to where they have to be to resolve the story.
This review for SEVERED PAST has been a long-time in the making because it sometimes takes a lot of careful thought and some re-reading to finally straighten out my observations and thoughts. It's particularly difficult to be coherent when you've had some issues with a book that you're reading.
We all know how much "Show Don't Tell" annoys writers. What's often harder is to explain how, as a reader, you get that impression. To my mind, showing always seems to make a scene more vivid, more observational, making me, as the reader feel like I'm part of the action, able to interpret, "trusted" to understand if you like. Whilst there's nothing wrong with a spot of telling to move from scene to scene, in the main heaps and heaps of descriptive "telling" just does my poor little reading head in and personally, I struggle to maintain concentration. Frankly, a lot of telling always leaves me feeling exhausted.
Combine that problem with odd "habits" like constant use of a single character's name over and over again, when it's obvious who's the centre of attention and I will confess to feeling very much like an "untrusted" reader.
Of course SEVERED PAST is a debut book so slack should be automatically cut, and the central theme being explored of the search for a past, and the idea that your entire background might be a lie was fascinating.
Ultimately, what I have ended up with is admiration for the role of strong, competent and forensic editors and just how much goes into the process of writing a book. How or why an author does it, and then releases their Darling to reviewers like me baffles.
A car crash fourteen years ago.
The result — amnesia.
A terrible accident … or was it?
Since that fateful day, computer expert David Hayes has been consumed by his need to learn more about his past. Frustrated at every turn, his search seems destined to fail until the sudden arrival of a photograph from his past — a photograph that shatters everything.
With his past revealed as a lie, the photograph becomes David’s only lead in uncovering his true identity. But as David’s hunt for answers takes him across Europe, a hidden adversary is already moving against him. For the truth involves the Company and its chief of security, Eva. Driven by her own demons, she will stop at nothing to ensure the Company’s secrets remain hidden. For Eva, the stakes are personal.