Monday, October 1, 2012

REVIEW: Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow

Pressure Head Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Characters

+++ The Protagonist

I liked Tom but I found it hard to keep liking him, because his people-pleasing personality tired me. Despite considering his personality, I was still flabbergasted at how quickly Tom agreed to help Phil, Tom’s teen crush turned bully. Phil nicknamed Tom Poofski (Tom’s last name is Patreski) and was one of the bullies who chased Tom into a car accident which gave him a lifelong hip injury. Tom’s personality didn’t meld perfectly with his past; he got along with Phil too quickly to be believable.

Another issue was how Tom jumped into the investigation with Phil without serious consideration that they were hunting a murderer, that what they were doing was dangerous. Not to mention that Tom had a job as a plumber with appointments, which he missed intermittently. Tom essentially put his life on hold and in risk for an ex-bully. Yes, the ex-bully was still handsome as ever... and gay... and single, but still. Tom needed to re-prioritize.

Tom may have a preternatural talent for finding things and the natural charisma for easing people, especially women which induced jealousy from Phil, but investigating a homicide was beyond his capabilities. He didn’t even bother to carry a weapon at the ending in his rescue attempt.

+++ The Love Interest

Phil suffered a severe lack of character development. His attitude was distant, but that was no excuse. I knew more about Tom’s flamboyant best friend, Gary, and his ex-porn star little person lover, Darren; Gary and Darren were not suspects whose background needed to be told and had around 4-6 scenes total in the story.

There’s something wrong when I know more about minor characters than a major character who is the main character’s love interest and appears all the time in the story. The story left me annoyed with a bunch of questions about Phil.

The Writing

+++ restrictive PoV

The story was told exclusively in 1st Pov from Tom’s side. I generally prefer 1st PoV from the protagonist’s side, but it felt restrictive in this story. Tom’s obliviousness to Phil’s romantic interest, among other things, was mind-numbing.

+++ slow mystery

The red herrings were great, but the mystery could have used some speed. To be fair, the mystery was one of the faster ones I have read, and I was thoroughly engaged. The pace eventually quickened, but it felt late to me.

+++ the ending

Since not much was said about Phil, the romance was sparse. The fact that Tom and Phil only had one date didn’t help, nor did the slightly abrupt ending. I wasn’t fully convinced in their HEA as I wanted.

In Conclusion

I rate Pressure Head 2-stars for it was okay. The book was fairly well-written and engaging; its British aspect was authentic and endearing. Nevertheless, the book had a couple issues that stopped me from liking it.

I recommend the book to readers looking for a good, British mystery with a small paranormal influence.

Amazon GoodReads

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