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- Publié sur Amazon.com
It is reviewing books like Tim Weaver's 5th 'David Raker' novel, "Fall From Grace", that makes me curse Amazon's coarse 5-star reviewing scale and their refusal to include half stars.
Like its forerunner in the series, "Never Coming Back", this new story is well-conceived and the telling of it masterfully executed. Tim Weaver paces the novel to perfection, keeping the action coming thick and fast and allowing the tension to ebb and flow at just the right rate to keep the reader firmly on the hook right from page one. The mystery and the twists in the plot are also well delivered, drawing readers in and keeping them wondering about things all the way to the very end; each new revelation partly confirms the suspicions that have been allowed to develop whilst also leading things off in new and unexpected directions. Tim Weaver does a great job too of painting detailed and atnospheric settings for the story -- you can also smell some of the scenes! As a thriller that grabs you on page one, ramps the adrenaline up quickly and keeps it there right to the end, and which also gives the brain lots to puzzle over along the way, "Fall From Grace" is pretty much a 5-star book all the way. Except...
If Tim Weaver has one fault as a thriller writer, it is probably that he has a tendency to somewhat over-egg the pudding. This tendency manifested in his earliest books in this series, "Chasing the Dead" and "The Dead Tracks", in their somewhat preposterous story-lines and overly graphic violence. By his previous book, "Never Coming Back", he had managed to rein this tendency back nicely to nothing more than a stretching of credibility in the plot-twists. To some extent, he has done the same again this time: the plot is (mostly) credible and believable, although there is at least one coincidence too many for comfort necessary for a full playing out of the thesis. On its own, this fault (if it is one -- it is almost becoming a hallmark of the author, and many readers may well buy these books because of it) is certainly not a detraction from the read. Ordinarily, I'd be happy to recommend the suspension of disbelief here, and award the full five stars. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite stop there; this time, I feel, the author has allowed himself to be seduced by his own centre-piece scenarios and ended up painting himself (or rather his characters) into a corner by forcing himself to stretch rather for some of the logical explanations to events.
That said, the author does a wonderful job of maintaining the tension and significant movement of the plot through these sections and many readers may never notice the problems, carried as they will be by the flow of the words which never allow any time to think about these things too much. I will therefore not spoil things for anyone by spelling out in detail the problems that I spotted and merely say that for me, things didn't quite fit together sensibly, overall. I was also rather puzzled by a couple of what I'd class as creeping Americanisms that appear in the text of the Kindle edition that I read. I am not sure if these are present in the printed copy, if they've carried over from a version prepared for a Trans-Atlantic audience, or what. Again, whatever the reason for them, it meant that some phrases didn't quite sit right for me, given the book's UK setting. In addition, there were a couple of occasions where the editorial processes hadn't been rigorous enough to spot incorrect words sneaking into the narrative, either. "Disguised", for instance, is used repeatedly to mean merely "obscured"; there are a couple more of a similar ilk: small things, but distracting and detracting from the excellence of the writing generally.
None of the faults I've enumerated really add up to any big deal and this is where I come back to cursing Amazon's review system because it forces me to knock a whole star off or else set the problems entirely to one side and award five. I've plumped for the former, but you should really take my rating as being at least 4.5 stars!
All things considered, this remains a fantastic read for anyone who loves thrillers of the grittier variety, with plenty to ponder along the way. I recommend it very highly indeed. Readers new to the series need not worry at all that they may find themselves four volumes behind other readers and thereby be confused by unexplained backstory; the author does a wonderful job of explaining salient earlier events in enough detail for new readers to catch up, without boring old-hands with repetition. I'm already looking forward to the next volume, which the author sets up in the closing chapter of "Fall From Grace" and which looks set to provided fans of the earlier books with the resolution to a story thread that many have wanted explored before now. Hopefully, my fingernails will have had grown back in time for its publication.