Saturday, December 15, 2012

Book Review: Duplicate by Harris Dickson Shortle

John Laronde thought he had it made.  He had the perfect life in 1934 Louisiana.  A prominent attorney, he lived with his wife and daughter on their sprawling estate.  He was beloved by everyone in the community.

A series of packages containing photographs marked duplicate started appearing on his desk, each sent from a city closer and closer to John's location, turned his world upside down.  What did the man, Pharus Murdock, want with John that he sent these duplicates and moved into John's town?  What did he want with becoming a well-liked member of the community as well?  What was the connection between Murdock and Laronde?

The story did contain that sense of anticipation.  I wanted to know who Pharus Murdock was and why he was after John Laronde.  But, as for the actual story, I didn't care much for it.  Shortle writes very descriptively, so much that it takes away from the storytelling.  Introducing a new character or a new setting brings with it so much description that the story gets lost.  It can get to the point where it becomes hard to keep track of what is going on.

I don't have a clue what the prologue's intentions are.  It doesn't flow with the rest of the story.  It's about John, Helen, and Ruth, as Helen grows up, but Helen plays such a minor role in the rest of the story there isn't a need for her backstory.  It doesn't aid the reader in any way.  The prologue plays a joke telling the reader what the story is not about.

Finding the answers to the questions is great, but the answers themselves?  They didn't fit with the anticipation.  I wasn't satisfied that this was the reason for Pharus Murdock.  It didn't feel enough, especially with the amount of space or lack of space, I should say, given to the ending.  I didn't think it was enough.

I read this book for pure pleasure.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

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