GROUNDWORK by Paul McDunough
Page count: 255
Publisher: Lettermore Books; 1 edition (October 3, 2014)
Reviewed January 26, 2014
The first time I got my hands on a shovel I was looking for a body.
This is a great hook! It appears at the beginning of chapter one. The book could have started here, but the author decided to write a prologue. The book begins with this:
From my ninth-floor bedroom window, the street looked as far away as the stars.
This is fabulous imagery! It’s not a great hook.
Overall, the story reads like a diary of a young man forming his identity, while coming to terms with the death of his father, which he suspects wasn’t an accident, though it’s not clear in the beginning why he’s suspicious. The timeline is January 1991 to January 1995. Having a better understanding of the geography and conflicts that were happening during this time period would add to the reader’s overall connection with this story.
The pacing of the mystery is slow, but the last chapter felt rushed to a conclusion. The setting is London and parts of Ireland. If you’re unfamiliar with British English and places in Great Britain, then you’ll either become intrigued by the descriptions and locations, or frustrated.
The main character, Gerry Walsh, and the supporting characters, are each dealing with a mixture of depression, anger, confusion, and loneliness. It’s interesting to see how this manifests through the different characters.
My review policy states that I will contact the author if I find critical errors. This author was responsive to what was found, and indicated that he made the necessary corrections. For this reason, Groundwork receives a three on my scale of one to five.
1 = The story was poorly executed. There were 4 or more fatal errors: Grammar, plot, structure, POV changed within same chapter/paragraph that made the story difficult to follow.
2 = There were 1-3 fatal errors that caused me to stop reading.
3 = The story didn’t hold my interest, but it was well-written.
4 = Good story, well-written, some memorable moments and characters
5 = Loved everything about the story: memorable characters; great plot; couldn’t put it down; lost myself in the story; made me laugh.
NOTE: The author provided a free Kindle copy of his book to Kori Miller Writes in exchange for an honest, straight-forward, review.