Hard Target by Howard Gordon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Once again, I have to clarify: Three stars means I (ultimately) liked Hard Target. It had a tight plot with page-turning suspense, realistic situations and settings, and spare writing. Once I connected with the situation and the plight of the characters, it was not easy to put down. That should have gotten it four stars, but I have to knock off a few points.
First, a half point off because I did not immediately feel connected with the protagonist. The author used a prologue to try to get the reader into the situation and define the bad guys. While this might work for a television show (the author is a successful television writer and producer), in this case it seemed more of a distraction. When we meet up with Gideon Davis in chapter one, the reader is wondering why we are spending time with this loser on his way to work, instead of finding the fate of the poor woman in the prologue.
Another half point comes off for all the head hopping. This is the not the first time I've been assaulted by viewpoint roaming from character to character in a thriller. This may be a stylistic choice and most readers might not notice. I find it jarring and distracting when it happens within a single chapter or scene. It just chops things up too much, giving the story the feel of a badly edited movie-of-the-week.
Otherwise, this was a pretty decent read and I can recommend it for anyone looking for some hard action adventure.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review.
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