RED book 9: Bet you can’t… Find Me – Linda Prather

Bet you can’t… Find Me is one of the February books on my Goodreads Kindle UK group. I chose it because of that and because I liked the sound of it, which is to say it sounded like a good crime thriller with a supernatural twist.

The story concerns Catherine Mans a professional psychic who helps the police solve murder cases. However she herself becomes the focus of an investigation when a series of murders with a connection to her past occur. She’s the prime suspect but the real killer, a much more powerful and dangerous psychic, starts taunting her and threatening those she loves. So it becomes a race against time to find the killer, face her past and protect her friends.

Bet you can’t… Find Me is my first completed “indie” ebook and it’s fair to say they have a somewhat dubious reputation. It is now easy for anyone to effectively self-publish through Amazon or iTunes or Smashwords and I’ve heard horror stories of novels which are full of typos and bad formatting and worse grammar. However I honestly approached this as just another book that I’d hopefully enjoy. It has a great looking cover, the reviews and ratings are positive and its premise is one I find intriguing so I started reading with no reason to think it wouldn’t be great.

Unfortunately… well it wasn’t great. And I don’t just mean it wasn’t my cup of tea. I really think it just wasn’t very well written. It would be very easy to slip into more of a writing critique than a review but I really don’t want to do that. Too much.

I think the biggest things for me were:

– Some fairly big plausibility problems. The police and federal agents act in a way I found hard to believe. Also, whilst it’s no problem for a novel to be set in a world where psychic powers really exist there was remarkably little scepticism about them so I wondered whether this was supposed to be a world where everyone knows they’re real – like vampires in the Anita Blake books for e.g. – but towards the end of the book characters do start expressing doubts. However by that stage we’d had a whole swathe of plot points essentially around the fact that the authority treat rogue psychics as a very real threat.

– And the plot itself whilst not really that complicated per se felt convoluted because of the way that it’s told. I definitely lost my place in some of the back story and its relevance to what was happening in the present.

– I thought the characterisation was ok at first, a bit stock but in a plot driven book that’s not too big a problem. However whenever love or attraction raised its head it felt like a lurch into a very different and much more sentimental place. Formerly fierce and feisty women and hard-bitten all-about-the-job cops suddenly become a bit gooey. There was a lot of blushing and fighting back of tears (when the object of affection was in danger). In fact even an attempt at a buddy-cop camaraderie fell into this problem.

I could go on listing problems but I don’t have the heart. I did finish the book but more because the spirit of RED is to finish pretty much every book. Plus it was a bit of a slog. I do think there’s potential here, lots of ideas but it needs work on the execution.

3/10 – a decent blurb and a great cover in search of a better book.


About shuggie

My name is Shuggie, Paul or LatePaul depending on where you know me from. I work in computers (databases) and occasionally write about softw
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