Thursday, January 30, 2014
Review of Bitter Water by Gordon Ferris (Corvus, 2012)
Gordon Ferris’ writing is easy on the eye and he tells a colourful tale that rattles along a fair clip, with plenty of action and twists and turns. The story is entertaining, but one has to often suspend belief for it to work, with too many elements relying on characters not pursuing the logical course, the police being hopeless, and the public to a person siding with the vigilantes. The result is a kind of mix of detective novel and action adventure. The characterisation is quite nicely done, especially Brodie and Samantha Campbell and their will-they-won’t-they relationship, though many fitted the stock character mould (the dullard inspector, the red-haired barmpot, the world weary journalist, the upper class lout, etc). The historical contextualisation is not laboured and there is a decent sense of place. Overall, an enjoyable read that keeps several threads moving along and knots them in a blockbuster conclusion.