By Trey Stone
Jordan Greer, Gerard Martin, and Dana Norman all work for the FBI in Columbus. Their supervisor is Sean Calloway. One day, Martin walks into his boss’ office and shoots him. Why did he do it? Greer and Norman are determined to find out...if they can get around a formidable internal affairs agent.
Okay. Again, I was intrigued by the plot. The problem was that’s about it for the plot. I expected Greer and Norman to be hitting the streets in search of clues, but all of the story takes place at the hospital (for a short scene), Greer’s house, or the FBI offices. Plus, there are other problems that will be discussed later.
Jordan Greer: FBI agent, 32, 6’2”, blond
Gerard Martin: FBI agent, 40s, heavyset, short brown hair, former British SAS, married
Dana Norman: FBI agent, black hair, has a sister, former cop
Sean Calloway: FBI agent
Lloyd Ackerman: FBI internal affairs investigator, large frame, balding
None of these characters acts like I would expect FBI agents to act. Ackerman shouts and is angry all the time. The other agents, either Norman/Greer or the internal affairs investigators Ackerman brings with him-don’t act like agents. Much of the ‘investigation’ is a lot of nothing except IA people on the computer researching Martin, but every now and then someone comes up with...a CLUE. When he/she does, I can almost hear the soap opera cliffhanger music pop in because everybody has an OMG moment.
Major problems here. Many of the issues are with capitalization and punctuation. Most of the dialogue is missing a comma before the tag. The tag may not be an actual tag, but may be a brand new sentence. Fine, but there’s no period in the dialogue and the first letter of the new sentence isn’t capitalized.
Way too many exclamation points. Way too many yelling and screaming tags. And the scene itself should explain to whom someone is talking. If there are only two people, there is no need to write Norman said something to Ackerman. That’s obvious.
Other than that Ackerman has the only distinguished voice and only because he can’t stop yelling.
Basically, the dialogue sounded forced, overdone.
Where to start? The only profanity is the ‘F’ word. Okay maybe a damn here and there, but F is overused.
Chapters are headed a bit strangely. They’re headed by the character who will have the POV in the chapter, the date and time. However, there is some weird computer coding that I don’t understand.
When I saw the above chapter headings and the errors on dialogue mentioned above, I checked the pdf file I had converted to epub, thinking maybe something went wonky in the conversion. I also contacted the author and was informed that the copy I received was the version that was published.
Okay, onto other problems:
- Spelling errors. Incorrect words used. Capitalization errors. Example: agent Greer. When used with a name, Agent is a title so it should be capitalized.
- It is not believable that the Norman and Greer did not remember sooner that Martin was married or that Ackerman didn’t know Martin was married until told.
- Subsequently, why did Ackerman and company rush over to the Martin’s house and bust in the door scaring Martin’s wife? Doesn’t make sense. There wasn’t any notion that she was in danger or at least it wasn’t made clear enough.
- In regards to Norman, why does Greer call his partner by her last name most of the time?
- On page 61 in my epub format, Ackerman begins the interrogation of Martin. This goes on for awhile with some shouting and conversations with his other IA agents. Then there’s a Norman/Greer scene. About 20 pages later, the interrogation scene is repeated except this time it’s from Martin’s POV. This is weird. Why repeat an entire scene from another character’s POV? I thought there was an error and stuff was repeated by accident.
- Speaking of repetitions there were too many times of ‘the giant man’ or ‘the giant’ when referring to Ackerman, the ‘black haired agent’ when referring to Norman, and ‘the little woman’ or 'the blonde woman' when referring to Martin’s attorney.
- Martin’s attorney declines to be Greer’s attorney when he’s arrested because she’s ‘impartial’. If she were impartial she would take him on.
- Too much back and forth between Norman/Greer and Ackerman on whether the two agents can talk to Martin. Get on with it.
- Hardly any action. The bit scenes when the agents take down bad guys lack real tension and felt like filler material.
And the ending lost its tension with too much dialogue.
The writing is weak and the dialogue is over the top. This reads like people who didn’t understand their roles overacting in a stage play.