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Graham Sharp Paul was born in Sri Lanka. He has an honors degree in archaeology and anthropology from Cambridge University and an MBA from Macquarie University. He joined the Royal Navy in 1972; he qualified as a minewarfare and clearance diving officer in 1977 and reached the rank of lieutenant commander before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy in 1983. Graham left the RAN in 1987. After working on a range of business development and corporate finance projects, he retired in 2003. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Vicki, has three sons and two granddaughters.
Francis W. Porretto
on Aug. 13, 2012 :
This is a promising first novel with a few flaws, mostly as regards characterization and lack of sub-plot development.
Samira is an intriguing heroine, but her transition from spoiled bad girl to avenging angel is too abrupt, and thus not entirely credible. For one thing, the spoiled bad girl had friends who were about equally bad. What became of her association with them after she was paroled? For another, we eventually learn that Matti would sometimes beat her physically. That usually causes a child victim to acquire lifetime scars; it seldom results in significant devotion to her abuser. And along those lines, the Matti you depicted in story time seemed entirely incapable of doing what Juri and Sahar eventually accused him of doing. So your protagonist and a key Supporting Cast character have large jags in their development.
Concerning the critical sub-plot of brothers Matti and Juri loving the same woman, and Samira turning out to be Juri's child rather than Matti's, this needed to be foreshadowed. I detected no hint of this critical thread at any point prior to the scene in which Samira executes Juri. Indeed, that Matti had any living relatives other than Samira is something of which you give no suggestion before the execution scene.
By way of balance, you handled the action scenes quite well, and your style is mostly smooth and appealing. One stylistic quibble: Repetition is the enemy of entertainment. You should be watchful about syntactic patterns, because they tend to jerk the reader out of the story. An example:
[Participial phrase implying simultaneity], [the subject of the sentence] [did something else].
This is a common pattern among fledgling writers. It's VERY common in "Vendetta." I suggest you try to avoid it, especially since the simultaneity it implies is often impossible.
Verdict: 3.5 stars, but I "round up." I look forward to the next installment.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)