Dead Wood, Dani Amore

I’ve probably read worse books in my life but I can’t recall any being quite this terrible. Dead wood is half the size of normal novels and is only available on Kindle. It’s the first murder mystery in the John Rocken series. Rocken is a private investigator who was dismissed from the police force after six months and is now married with two children.

I can’t really tell if the plot is interesting because the writing is so bad. There is a constant attempt at humour which reads like second-hand script outtakes stolen from cancelled series on TV. There is a huge amount of description where it isn’t needed. Amore has a horrible habit of telling the reader every thought and assumption she thinks her protagonist is having and making.

There are inconsistencies within paragraphs of each other like Rocken’s friend Nate who he has known since he was a ‘chubby little kid’ but we later find out has been since high school. Clarence Barr is Rocken’s client but he is introduced to us as Marshall Dillon.

The characters are at best two-dimensional and it’s all tell and very little show. There’s a bizarre parallel character referred to only as the Spook who is even less solid as the rest of them. He has a love for guitars and the case Rocken has taken on is about a murdered woman who used to make very high quality hand-crafted guitars. Cue an interlude about a singer and her entourage, then a boat, a lighthouse, bizarre twins and an attempted rape scene of the PI.

I skim read the last half. It was worse than the first part.

Amore has written more books available only on Kindle. Avoid.

0.5/5

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