Review – The Corrupted Part Two

CorruptedIt’s not often I give up on a book, but I’ve stopped reading this half-way through. I have problems with the structure, the plotting and the writing. The only positive I can think of – and it’s the reason that I read The Corrupted after hearing it on BBC Radio 4 – is the way that it brings real life characters and events into the sleazy London underworld.

Let’s deal with structure first. It seems obvious to me that this was originally conceived as a screenplay and then adapted into a novel. The reader is subjected to a barrage of short scenes that rat-tat-tat at you like machine-gun fire. About a third of the way in I tired of this chopped narrative and it was only because I hate not finishing a book that I persisted.

The plot revolved around the tensions between Brian and his uncle Jack. This revealed itself in Brian’s attempts to coerce criminal associates or corrupt policemen to ‘off’ Jack, either by ‘taking him to the pig farm’ or ‘banging him up’. So many conversations; so many attempts; so many failures to act. Perlease, just get on and do it yourself, Brian. You’ve proved to be as much of a psychopath as your uncle.

In a lesser but equally annoying plotline, a succession of police officers drift in and out of the criminals’ world. The same policeman will sometimes enforce the law or will randomly decide to turn a blind eye. The one consistently honourable officer is such a cliché of rectitude that he is not credible.

As far as the writing is concerned, so many sentences hit their points home with the insane force of Brian wielding his meat cleaver. We get ‘show’, we get ‘tell’ and we get ‘tell’ again, all in the same sentence. Then, in case the dumb reader has missed the point, GF Newman gives a character a piece of explanatory dialogue to hammer the point home.

I think this may be the first one-star review I’ve given on Goodreads and it may be uncharitable. But that’s how this book made me feel.

About The Author

Robert Ronsson

Other posts by

Author his web site


05 2017

Your Comment