Recently i have been on School holidays, this means a massive increase in my reading time and time available to write blog posts and i have had the opportunity to read some self published crime.
I recently received a Review copy of Kill or Cure by Thea Hartley – this was not a book i overly enjoyed, in teacher speak she could try harder. The writing is quite stilted and accompanied by some heavy handed dialogue, characters names are repeated extremely frequently in full just so you got them. The lead character is a kind of criminal psychologist who is investigating someone killing terminally ill people in quite gruesome manners, the trouble is you don’t really ever find out much about the lead character, and as such she’s quite 2 dimensional and you find it difficult to care about what happens to her. Also i have several issues with the people’s accents do people in Cardiff call their mum’s “Mam” i always thought that was a northern england thing, and do scousers use the word “Nowt” frequently, i always thought that was a Yorkshire thing. I’m not an accent expert i don’t overly have one of my own but they didn’t really ring true to me. Also to sound even more nit picky than usual one of the Victims had Huntingtons Chorea at an excessively young age (this can happen but is extremely rare) and the symptoms are described as including Psychosis and Hallucinations (The NHS website and my own inexpert Genetics Knowledge disagree). This is unlikely and inaccurate. Also the climax to the case doesn’t overly make a lot of sense there is no more evidence for it being one person than any other and indeed the so called experts profile fits about 3 different suspects.
I also read a book called Rope enough by Oliver Tidy, this intrigued me a lot more, for a start it doesn’t begin with a murder which is a refreshing change, the book is well written especially for a first book, compared to kill or cure which is that authors third novel. The book goes along at an interesting pace and the crime is solved in a logical way with a credible build up of evidence, any forensics discussed makes sense and the characters are interesting and well developed, you find yourself wanting to find out what they go on to do, he is an author that i am excited to read more of.
I think that Self publishing is often used as an excuse for lazy editing and poor writing, and this is a shame because there is a lot of really excellent self published fiction and indeed crime fiction out there. Some of this self published fiction should be attracting the eyes of publishers and more of the public alike. I think the overabundance of lazily produced, poorly written fiction can make it hard for the good quality self published fiction to shine through, and it can become a case of how good your social network is and how often you are shared that makes you sucessful rather than the quality of you work (this is especially the case when authors are media savvy and rate their own works highly on review sites). This frustates me a little as good quality writing should always be recognised and apreciated, and because of that I would advise anyone to go check out Oliver tidy’s work its amazing