Saturday, January 11, 2014

Gray Matter by Nick Pirog

I've been buying some inexpensive books recommended by a service called Book Bub--it sends me a daily list of "bargins."  Some of these have been really good reads, others I abandon.  This particular title is somewhere in between.  There were many flaws in the book, which made me a little agitated as I read, but overall I think Pirog is a promising author.  I finished the book in spite of the occasional lapses.  This is a "detective fiction" book with murder investigation as the primary plot. It is set primarily in the Northwest United States.

Pirog needs a good (and ruthless) editor.  The main character should be a relatively mature adult, certainly the life experiences that he has had would season someone of his intelligence and background.  However, he consistently behaves and thinks as a "semi-adult"--more like someone in their early twenties that the more early 40s that would be suggested by the book.  There are numerous technical errors in the book which should have been resolved through better research and editing.  One research lapse that I found particularly offensive was the extremely casual research about the wolf reintroduction programs in the Northwest and the habits of wolf packs.  I have a middle stand on wolf reintroduction, however this hot topic is not aided by inaccurate representations of the dangers of wolves.   Other irrelevant sub-plots should have been eliminated including the girl-friend at the beginning of the book and "Harold's story."

Still, the book shows that Pirog is a promising young author.  I have plenty of other options and still I was willing to keep reading.  I see from Internet searches that he has several other books out.  I think perhaps I'll give another one a try and see if he has worked on his author's craft since his first book.

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