Poet and Author David J.(NOT Lee) Roth began his personal journey of words during a late night online chat sometime in the mid 1990’s. He has since gone on to complete Forcas III, the epic story of the Klingon Bet’leH tournament set in the Star Trek: the Next Generation universe, Sometimes I Hear Voices, Alice's Goldfinch and Christrmas Eyes; collections of poems written over the last fifteen years, The Adventures of the Magnificent Seven, a series of stories in tribute to his children and grandchildren; and
and his current project, Legends of Greenbrook Park, a semi-fictional autobiography.
David lives in New Port Ritchey, Florida, with the love of his life, Linda, and three furry children, Ms. Skittle; and Jazzy, and Kelsey the Stinky Dog, where he spends his time creating gourmet feasts for his friends and family, writing, BLOGGING and reviewing works by little known or unknown writers. David is the Tampa Writing Examiner, and works to promote writers you should have heard of by now with his crisp, clinical, no punches pulled but fair reviews.
A two-time stroke survivor, David is active in local writer and poet groups.
Where to find David Roth online
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Smashwords book reviews by David Roth
- For Sale in Palm Springs: The Henry Wright Mystery Series
on May 27, 2011
What do a dead realtor, a sexy redhead, a missing photograph, a retired chief of police from Eagle River, Wisconsin, Palm Springs and a slew of mid-century tract homes that may or may not have been owned by movie stars have in common?
These are the key elements of For Sale in Palm Springs, a book by novelist Albert Simon (© 2004-2010 by DesertDreaming.com at Smawshwords.com, ISBN 0-976200-34-1) a thoroughly delightful murder mystery that could have been, but sadly isn’t.
It’s too bad. The material is there. Everything you need to make for a good, stay up late, sit on the edge of the chair, page turning thriller. You have a lush setting. Likable characters. A few dead ends. A decent, likable protagonist in the retired cop turned consultant, and a few wacky comic relief characters. All that’s missing is the thread that stitches them all neatly together.
Good novels are good stories that are well told. Simon has a good story. The problem is that he doesn’t tell it well. It may be forgiven since his native written and spoken language is Nederlands (Dutch), and this is his first novel, although at 160 pages, ‘novel’ is a bit of a stretch by today’s standards.
Simon’s mistake is two-fold. Good writing ‘shows’ rather than tells. Simon tells rather than shows. And he is in desperate need of good editing, something I find to be a problem with many self-published writers. The best story in the world will fail to gather an audience if it is poorly edited.
The problems with this first attempt are legion. The dialogue sections are not only shaky – remember this is not his first language – but every single one of them is tagged. He said. She replied. He answered. She agreed. That just isn’t necessary. Now and then, yes, but not every spoken line. The dialogue isn’t believable. When characters interact, you have to believe they would speak the way they do. I didn’t.
Another problem has to do with things like describing an action the same way repeatedly. In one page and a half section, a character is twice described as “turning the same color s her hair”. The same description is used of the other character in the same scene: “It was his turn to turn the color of her hair.” This descriptive technique is used in other places as well, as if the writer ran out of ways to creatively not show the action.
For Sale in Palm Springs is the first of five Henry Wright mysteries, and perhaps they get better. The seed is there, but it needs more time to be harvested. 2 ½ stars out of five for this first attempt.