Saturday, October 7, 2017

Review of Roger Stelljes's "Deadly Stillwater"

The plot has been done before, but rarely this well. Stelljes's writing is superb. This is told as a police procedural, and is largely an accurate depiction of a large-city local police force's activities.Stelljes is a master of both thrillers and suspense, and did an excellent job telling this can't-put-it-down page-turner. He enthralls us at every twist and turn, with a finely-honed craft of story-telling. This booki is my first read of his writing; it won't be my last;

The book is written in third person, which opens the material to many ways of telling the story, and many ways to treat the multiple characters. My only disappointment was in passing up a great chance to showcase his superb writing in the difficult style of an ensemble story. The book is a "star vehicle" for Mac, the lead character, who appears to be an amalgam of Superman, Sherlock Holmes, Captain America, and various other super-heroes. Everyone defers to him for leadership and decisions. He is an expert in everything. That doesn't work for me; the characters rapidly becomes cardboard.

I believe that this tale would have worked better as an ensemble story. We get glimpses of other characters, but they appear to exist solely for the purpose of pointing out Mac's superpowers and sainthood. Their characters are painted in soft tones, and thinly. I'd like a bit less of Mac leaping tall buildings in a single bound, and more development of the other characters.
If you enjoy great writing and story-telling, you'll love Deadly Stillwater.

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