Recently, Kevin Eleven and his publishing company Flowered Concrete were kind enough to send me an advanced copy of his newest book. It wasn’t until after I had read it though, that I discovered it was a rough cut. There were many errors that really detracted from the reading experience; in fact, while reading it I had a red pen in hand because I couldn’t ignore the errors as I came across them.
So, how do you write a review of a book based on a rough draft when the result is probably very different? I’m not quite sure but here is what I came up with.
Kevin Eleven’s newest book “‘frankly TWISTED’:THE LOST FILES” due out later this month follows several Brooklyn Detectives as they describe cases they worked in the past. After a short prelude we meet Detective Deborah Lane, she works within the burglary/narcotics unit of the 23rd precinct. As a female in a mostly male dominated field she has an interesting perspective and I really wish she had stayed the narrator. Through her tales we learn that she is smart, attractive, and more than competent at her job. She brings us back in time to the very first case she ever took the lead on. Through this case we meet Luke Fisher, another young detective with a troubled past who is also attractive, lazy and quite incompetent when it comes to doing his job. He mostly relies on Detective Lane and everyone in the precinct knows it. We also meet Captain Gordon, a quote-on-quote creep, but otherwise a pretty decent worker. The line-up from there just gets worse with slimy characters like Detective Frank Matthews. He’s an old, grumpy detective who is obviously hiding something . His connection to Ron Mercer, a man who has his hands in everything illegal, finally brings an end to his tirade. Throughout the book, we see these characters succeed, fail, and show their true colors. This makes for a very interesting, and strangely unique ride.
When I opened the packaging I found myself face-to-face with a really interesting cover created by Alton Taylor. I really liked the cover but thought that perhaps it’d be more appropriate for a comic book.
I really wanted to love this book because it has so much going for it but I just couldn’t. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the plot though. I did. I just don’t think it was executed in the best way possible.
That said, one of my largest concerns was the characters. I felt no connection to them and what they were doing. I was told how to feel about them, and I was told how others felt about them but was never made to love them/hate them by the author. I also felt like chances were passed up to more intricately describe the scenes and characters. One of my favorite sentences in the whole book is,
“His nose was pointy and long as if it was[were] once a sharp pencil.”
Although, when details were put in they were incorrect. There was a scenario when Detective Frank Matthews was called on a Sunday about a murder and was told to report to the crime scene Monday morning. When he arrived, the dead body was still there. That would never happen in real life or on T.V. shows for that matter. Investigators would be there right away and the body would be removed an hour or so later. Crime/Murder doesn’t stop for the weekend except for in this book, apparently.
Overall I give frankly TWISTED: THE LOST FILES: 2.5 out of 5 stars for ages 14+. It reads as a sort of crime-show screen play(without the separation of conversation and narration); episodic and fast-paced and I think it works well in this format.
If you enjoy straightforward police procedurals and like a simple read, you’ll enjoy this one. 🙂
DISCLAIMER: Since I read a very rough cut of this book, my critiques may be irrelevant now.