Thursday, 24 May 2012
Book Review: Gone at Zero Hundred 00:00 by CR Hiatt
Anna McSwain is a single mother and a private investigator. She has a rebellious 18 year old daughter Sydney, who has two annoying teenage boy 'friends'.....
Anna McSwain is shot and killed during the investigation of a high profile fraud and swindle case involving local public figures and after getting over the shock and distress of her mothers death, Sydney and one of the boy 'friends' Cody Beck decide to continue the Private Investigator business, renaming it 'McSwain and Beck' this is going to be the sub heading of a series of books following the 'reluctant sleuths' exploits.
Sydney, or Syd as she is referred to, tells the story in a first person narrative style which sometimes the author occasionally forgets and wanders back into the more defined style of third person narrative.
Before they even get a web page up advertising the 'new' business they get a walk in client who informs Syd that she believes her step brother is stealing from her and she wants him followed and evidence found.... there then follows the exploits of the two, in reality mainly Syd as she stumbles from one disasterous piece of investigation to the next involving corrupt cops, Mexican (suggested) cartel and a number of other suspicious characters.
It turns out that the same people who killed Syd's mother are the ones that she is investigating and while they can kill the mother using a sniper rifle they can't kill young Syd from any distance...
I have to say that the story was a little hit and miss and coming at it from the bias of my dislike of kids in fiction as mentioned in the opening paragraph I was finding it hard to stay focussed.
HAVING SAID THAT, I can also sit back and think that with all the nods and mentions to contemporary YA appendages such as Youtube, Facebook, the Internet, Modelling and the way to an easy life through celebrity, it will appeal to the target audience of YOUNG ADULTS, and it is fairly fast paced throughout which was good.
Cody is the tall handsome athletic all round rogue, who knows everything and is a whiz with a digital movie camera and computers, making movies in his spare time and uploading them to YouTube, and at every opportunity has a cheerleader or three hanging on every word. Syd isn't as beautiful as her mother was, but has Cody and Jayden, who pops up as an aside throughout the book, both secretly in love with her, since elementary school, and then she nearly had me too with the mention of her love for all things NCIS, Gibbs and Di Nozzo, nearly had me....
The writing style was easy and flowing and it was an easy read but the sleuths are not in the same league as say, King and Maxwell from David Baldacci, or the singular Jack Reacher, but, give them 10 or fifteen years and they may mature into something that the more mature reader might grow into But for now this is definitely a book for YA's who I think will enjoy it much more than I did, having said that I have to say it was not a waste of my time in doing so.
Editing for Kindle /iPad: 4 out of 5*
Reading Enjoyment: 4 out of 5
Page length on kindle /iPad: 352 incl two chapters of the authors next offering**
Plot: 3 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
* I downloaded this book when it was on promotion and it contained a number of errors, not major ones, but glaring, I am assured that these have been rectified in the paid version but it would have been nice to find an Indie author who was error free from the get go
** Again in the promotion version there was no page numbers (don't know if this has changed) and I find this infuriatingly irritating
You can connect with CR Hiatt here and find out about upcoming projects or on Twitter with @McSwainandBeck
You can get the book from Amazon UK here and Amazon US here