Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Book Review: The Castlegate Club

I confess I critiqued a tiny portion of The CastlegateClub a long time ago. I detect a hint of a Russian tragedy in this story where everyone suffers and no one wins, but the story is without the uplifting and powerful writing of a Russian master to capture and fire our imagination. The intricate plot is solid material. The rising tension is evident with some nice twists. However, I found some of the mechanics to propel the story forward not fully engaging.

Mike McGrath, the protagonist, doesn't grow. He's the same bull-headed, 40-year-old winner-takes-all adult despite the damage to those around him as he was as a star athlete in high school. His lack of insight to his own issues and alternative actions to achieve his goals are sometimes hard to swallow. He's a one man wrecking machine, and the person he wrecks most often is himself. His main antagonist is slightly better developed, spiraling downward into the criminal world by birthright, desire, and situation to which the reader is witness.

While the author has some of the interrelationships between characters spot on, the reader is at the mercy of some repetitive and dragged out dialogue and memes to get the point. And then when you want to be at the climax of the story, most of it takes place off page. We are left with a dénouement of sorts that I truly don't understand, but then again, I'm not drawn to Russian tragedies. It's a 3.

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