Thursday, March 31, 2011
Hard Cache – Charles B. Neff
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by Bennett and Hastings Publishing for the purpose of a review. The views expressed here are honest and are in no way influenced by the author or the publisher.
Neither marriage nor murder are on Magnus Torval’s agenda when he and his fiancé’ Mariela, travel to a cascade mountain town in Washington. But the recently retired police officer soon finds himself swept up in the rip tides of both. Mariela’s spontaneous wedding plans and his own discovery of a fresh corpse makes for an unholy combination that threatens to drown their happiness and jail a beloved pastor whose fellow-believers fled religious persecution in Russia.
Along with a local policeman and a young Ukrainian woman, Magnus and Mariela are sucked into events that lead to an upheaval for many and terror for some, exposing buried connections to art theft, organized crime, and brutality during the Russian-Afghan War. Tributaries of memory and action, celebration and revenge, past and present, converge in a climatic confrontation deep in the mountains.
Hard Cache is definitely an exciting novel that exceeds the expectations of readers. One look at the cover and you are more than likely to think that Hard Cache is ‘not for you’ yet here in lies the misconception. The author who has written at least three previous novels definitely shows some experience in character and story development. Hard Cache has just the right amount of pace and provocation to keep the reader interested and to keep them flipping through the book. The story is not perfect but still makes for an interesting one.
From the onset, the reader is introduced to several characters, all of whom play significant roles in Hard Cache. Naturally there were some who were developed to the point where you can identify with them and others who just seem to be present to enhance the story. Some may argue that for a short book such as Hard Cache (the book has a total of 203 pages) having so many characters cluttered the story. While this may have been true close to the end, I thought that they were well balanced throughout most of the novel.
Hard Cache did fall short of being a great story and most of the falling took place at the climax. I found that there were a few serious misses from the characters. Many of them did not play the part that they were built up to play. That issue left me with a sense of disappointment. Additionally, I felt as though the author added elements to the story that he thought would go well with the plot and what the reader may have appreciated but instead none of it made sense and it caused the story to divert from the flow established earlier in the book.
All and all, its not a bad effort and readers will enjoy the story that develops.
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