Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Unconsumed: The Black Silent

A year or so ago I received a copy of David Dun's new thriller The Black Silent to review. It was a mass market paperback, some sort of action / thriller / espionage type thing. It took me over a year for the book to make its way up my read / review pile and now it is time.

And I can't. A prologue and four chapters and I know from the start that this will be painful. Despite being blurbed by Gayle Lynds, The Black Silent stretched the bounds of my credulity and interest from the start.

The prologue is an attack on a man named Ben while he is diving. At first I thought it was a training exercise, but the aftermath runs into the first chapter where he is standing in his office calling the cops. Ben is a scientist with "hidden knowledge". He has "secrets" that men will "kill for". He has an adopted daughter and a friend who is a "former spy". Ben goes missing. Adopted Daughter and Former Spy go on the run trying to find Ben and stop whatever nefarious plot is in the plotting.

I don't care.

Really. In a prologue and four chapters The Black Silent feels overwrought, like Dun is trying too hard to make the novel exciting. It feels false. Because I don't know Ben at the start, I don't care that he is attacked. I don't know all of the cliches of this genre, but I swear Dun hits most of them.

So, that's my review. I couldn't read more of The Black Silent than four chapters and a prologue because it was just too absurd and I had a sneaking suspicion (sort of like the suspicion I expect the characters will get) that The Black Silent was not going to get any better. If I read 11% of a novel (based on page count), I expect to either be hooked, be intrigued, or care even a little bit about what is going to happen next.

I don't.


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