Posted in Review

The Harbour Master by Daniel Pembrey

The Harbour Master

The premise of the book sounded really interesting and so when I was offered a copy to read and review I jumped at the chance as I have been reading more crime books from new to me authors recently and been having a great time with them. The first thing I have to say about this book is that I only finished reading it because I had agreed to write a review on it, had it been a book I had sourced myself, I would have given up a few chapters in for a variety of reasons.

The main problem I found with this book was that the author gave far too much information with far too little detail. He failed to paint a picture of the scene’s he was setting so that instead of inhabiting the book and experiencing the story as I read it, I could only read it due to having to google every few pages (paragraphs at the start of the book) to find out the missing details of how things look or are geographically located.

As I started to read the book I felt that maybe I was at fault for not knowing Amsterdam well, I didn’t even know there was a port there until I read this book. But I soon realised that the fault wasn’t with me, there just is not enough detail written in the book for it to be an easy read for anyone who doesn’t know the area’s it’s set in well. An example excerpt would be:

“Willemspark lay to the south-west of us, a little outside the canal belt. Flanked by a large, popular park, the houses there are substantial and finely detailed, the streets quiet.”

This is all the detail about one of the locations that Henk visits and returned to a few times, it’s hard to imagine what these houses looked like in any way with this little detail and yet that was all that was given which made it impossible to imagine the setting if you are unfamiliar with the location. When I read a novel I do not want to have to head to google every other page to find out what something is or how it looks. It defeats the escapism that I expect from reading a book and ruins the vision of the words that runs through my mind whilst I read something that has been well written.

This isn’t my only issue with this book. That it was broken up into 3 books within would have been nice to know but this information was sadly lacking as was any ‘real’ investigative work. Those who are guilty, or not as the case may be, seems to be decided by those in power up the food chain in this world and not by any evidence. We never see much of the leg work that is involved in solving cases, just hunches, wrong turns and secretive meetings where everyone seems to be more interested in furthering their career or feathering their nest than the crimes involved and I found this hugely disappointing.

 

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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