The Fence And Then The Trees

Rated 4.33/5 based on 3 reviews
A failed con man winds up in prison with a vacant psychopath of a cellmate. His survival depends on getting close to the one person he wants to avoid the most, and connecting with him. But people run deep, and with more than his own survival at stake, he may wind up with more than he ever counted on before. More
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beginstomorrow reviewed on Feb. 17, 2015

Generally entertaining and the characters are well defined, but there was too much telling and not enough showing in several parts, redundancy in internal character monologue, and the end dragged on too long, laying it heavy on the romance.

The following contains spoilers and is directed at the author as constructive critique:

Adder's personality prior to prison is too much like Jack's, and his dad's personality came across as too shallow. If his dad really was worried about his reputation, was as ruthless as he was made out to be, and had the amount of influence he did, it would have made more sense that he'd take more drastic measures to keep his son under control. His passive approach to cleaning up after Adder didn't fit. As for Adder talking, having him become a chatterbox at the end so suddenly felt a bit counter intuitive. I would have imagined that after 15 years of not saying a single word, it would take him a while to build up to being as talkative as a normal person.

That said, I think it was overall a good story, just needs a bit of tweaking.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
LittleRedBook reviewed on April 7, 2014

This is the first story I read by this author, and I was riveted. This isn't a kink story full of salacious stereotypes and little substance, oh no. JF Smith gives you complex characters in difficult situations, in which he artfully peels away the layers one strip at a time to explore who they are and what drives them. I was struck by how utterly human his characters felt, and how the author treated his characters with dignity and intensity despite their apparent darkness.

Definitely one of the most satisfying reads I've come across in a long time, and I absolutely recommend it.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
Tyler Knoll reviewed on March 26, 2014

Great premise. Shades of The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption, but that's a good thing not a bad thing. Considering the darkness of the setting and the fact that both main characters were not "good" characters, they still came out smelling like roses.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
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