Monday, December 2, 2013

Book Review - Ready for Murder

Ready for Murder – (not the) Joe Hill     
 
Ready For Murder (A Harry Strong Mystery - #1) (The Harry Strong Mysteries) 
 
I am rapidly becoming a major Joe Hill fan so when I saw this on this novella on the Kindle store I snapped it up, looking for a quick easy read. Didn’t read the premise, didn’t need to, it is Joe Hill after all.
 
The Blurb:
 
Ready For Murder is the first book in the Harry Strong Mystery Series. Harry Strong is a man haunted by his past. An ex-cop, he now barely keeps afloat by running his own detective agency. But he begins to unravel the day rich and successful mystery writer Julia Weston walks into his life. She is the prime suspect in the brutal murder of her boyfriend Jimmy Chandler, and hires Harry to prove her innocence. But as Harry delves into the writer’s past, he finds several startling coincidences between her mystery crime novels and real life murders. Is this merely a coincidence or is there a sinister reason why the beautiful and seductive Julia Weston consorts with convicted murderers and has a trail of unsolved murders in her past?
 
There comes a point in any blogger’s writing career when they have to think very carefully about how scathing they are going to be. In my opinion, even if I didn’t enjoy a book, having written one myself, I know the heartache and exertion that goes into writing and publishing and therefore try to pick up the positives amongst the negatives.
 
I so very nearly put this book down in disgust. Let’s get one thing straight. This is not written by Joe Hill, son of Stephen King and author of the excellent N0S4R2. Anyone that has read that Joe Hill’s books will be aware of that immediately. Now, I appreciate that there are several Joe Hill’s out there in the world and just because this particular one shares his name with another author it does not mean he should alter it. I suspect however, that this author is merely enjoying the fame of his namesake and the resulting downloads but I could be wrong.
 
Ultimately though, this was my mistake. I got the wrong Joe Hill and I blame myself. However, it was not the reason I nearly gave up on the novella. The reason is far more outrageous. This novel is “Basic Instinct,” with different names. If it was a novelisation of the film it would be incredibly accurate. As things stand though, there is nothing in the blurb to indicate anything of the sort, in fact the names have been changed to cement the distinction.
 
So am I just being unfair. Is the premise just similar? Hell no. I would say read it for yourself to see but I don’t believe you should be handing over your money for such a blatant rip-off and I do mean rip-off. From the opening murder season with the sex and the screwdriver, to the interrogation scene where the main suspect is wearing a white dress, with no underwear (there is even the, “what you going to do arrest me for smoking?” line), to the violent sexual encounter with the protagonist’s therapist and the crazed lesbian lover of Sharon Stone. This is as blatant as you can get.
 
I was so disgusted that I was going to put it down and demand a refund. The only reason I didn’t was because I hadn’t seen the movie in ages and had forgotten how it ended. Honestly that is the only reason.
 
And yet, the writing is not bad. It flows well and clips along at an enjoyable pace. The author has talent but does not have an original thought in his body. I even Googled the script from the film and would you believe it the dialogue is the same in places.
 
I recognise that this is not a review of the plot and characters but I refuse to do that in this instance. I would essentially be review Basic Instinct and attributing to someone else’s name.
 
I don’t understand what has gone on here. Am I missing something? Was this the original novel re-released? I have searched Google and found nothing but if I have got the wrong end of the stick I apologise. But for me, this is an outrageous copy of another medium passed off as an original piece of fiction.
 
My rating 2 out of 10.