Alan Arthur Katz
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
"The Real Finn" is very smart, very good, very engaging, but too short.
It is the curse of the format. It's why I hate short stories and can barely abide novellas. They just run out of road too soon, which means that character development has to be either shallow or too abrupt. Miss Shiloh is way too good a writer to create shallow characters, so the inevitable result of the limited number of words is that character development is way too abrupt for my taste, too abrupt for the reader to "grow" with the characters, to see their past revealed in the little tells, subtle foreshadows and to take pleasure in the unraveling of the story, like the layers of an onion.
The story is about Finn, an adorable, sexy young undercover cop whom the police are using when they need someone to sleep with a bad guy to get information. Combined with his lifetime of sexual abuse, they leave him unsure if he even exists any more. He marries another cop, Shad, for the security, the protection, but, sadly, believes that it's not about love - but about landing the man (like a campaign) who will give him safety and security.
There are problems with their marriage, Finn takes the initiative to please Shad, but he's not very much interested in his own satisfaction - that's because he's not really sure he is a real person, as opposed to the personae he's used to protect himself since he was ten years old. Shad doesn't have a clue what's going on, but he does have the patience of a saint.
"The Real Finn" is actually a character study, as opposed to a thriller or police procedural (though there's some very explicit violence and a lot about police undercover activity). It's about Shad and Finn finding the ground on which to base a shared life, to find mutual respect, and, most of all, the honesty without which no relationship can long survive.
It's a moving journey, but way too short to be really satisfactory. Ms. Shiloh spends some serious time in the lead-up to the undercover operation, but moves past it with a single sentence - the first line of the next chapter. It's like a gaping hole, one that needs to be filled with plot, drama, fear and triumph.
If you like short-form works, then by all means, don't miss "The Real Finn". If you're looking for a deeper involvement with the characters, a slower, more studied development, then read any of Ms. Shiloh's full-length novels. She is an amazing author, and you can't go wrong reading anything she's written.