Day: June 8, 2013
Czech Mate by Tom Immins is a moderately good mystery tale, spoiled for me by formatting and manuscript problems in the e-Book version that are mostly easily correctable. The fact that they weren’t made the book very hard to read.
First, let me say what I liked about Czech Mate: the characters were, in the main, believable, and it was easy to get ‘inside their skins’ so to speak. Some of them talked far too much – overlong dialogue can be as unsettling to a reader as overlong narrative, if not more so. I got a little lost near the end, but Immins did tie up most of the story’s loose ends – I think.
Okay, now to the correctable faults. The book was mostly done without indentation, but some paragraphs were strangely indented. Page breaks at the end of chapters would have allowed subsequent chapter headings to be consistently placed rather than occurring sometimes in the middle of a page, with the last paragraph of the preceding chapter above, or at the very bottom of the page. Some of the narrative paragraphs were far too long. A paragraph that exceeds a page is very difficult to read. Likewise, some of the dialogue was up to half a page. No one talks that long unless they’re making a speech, and in a novel, there would be breaks with action or narrative to break up such a long monologue – or should be.
The word boys’ was written several times in the first chapter and this confused me because it wasn’t used in a manner to show what was possessed.
All in all, this was a good story, competently told except for the comments on lengthy narrative and dialogue. A fix of these problems and the formatting issues and this would merit an additional star or two to the two I give it.