Having just missed one hundred books in the first year of The Book Challenge, in 2010, I made the full tonne. Still reading, but without the challenge, take a look at the reviews for the books that I have read this year.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Book 35 - Steel Rain

Book - Steel Rain
Author - Tom Neale (pen name of Robert Ryan)
Year - 2005
Genre - Crime Thriller

I am not very good at working out 'whodunnit' in crime books or thrillers.  I know a great many people who say 'Oh, I knew it was the butler all along.  I worked out that all of the obscure little hints that we are given throughout the book had pointed towards him, so it left no other choice'.  I however am usually completely shocked when I find out who the culprit was.  Of course, they were definitely someone I suspected, because generally I suspect every single character we have ever met, including usually the lead character, the victim, the author and occasionaly characters from other books with absolutely no relevence to the story.  Suffice to say, I am good as suspending disbelief and crap at deduction.

This makes it all the more disappointing to read a book like Steel Rain and be positive who the bad guy is from about page fifty.  Not just 'I have my suspicions about this character', but a full blown 'Well this is obvoius who is behind everything, and not just that, but I can also see exactly what is going to happen in the final scene, how it will be uncovered and what will happen to everyone'.  And then be proven one hundred percent right.  The writing is not awful aside from that - except for the fact that the main characters are also not particularly likable, and despite the author being British, there is a virulent strain of 'I love America, I hate Britain, Guns are great, Boo the liberals, Yay for conservitism' - but the point of reading a thriller is completely nulled by knowing what will happen.

I should probably mark this lower, but with easy reading dross like this, it is impossible to be too hateful towards it because it is standard magazine like pap that is churned out to simply be bought, read and instantly disregarded.  It doens't matter, and hopefuly noone will expect it to become a classic.  Which it won't be.  Because it's rubbish.



  1. Hey - great challenge! I only stumbled across your blog by chance and a very delayed Google Alert. Your first book all the way back in January was The Seventh Tide by, er, me. So, many thanks to your sister's boyfriend for steering you to it! Tell him I'm working on another fantasy just now called The Walking Mountain that he might like. (You, too!) It's maybe more scifi/fantasy than fantasy pure and simple, but I'm never very clear on the distinctions.

    Anyway, many belated thanks for reviewing my book on your blog, and best of luck with your challenge.

  2. Very jealous at your feedback!

    I'm waiting for an email from Armistead Maupin/Charlie Brooker/Nick Hornby/Paul Auster et al any day now...