What do you mean, my characters aren’t developed?!

Here’s a not-so-good review of Too Much Blood, which is the subject of this blog and self-flagellation.

REVIEW:
TOO MUCH BLOOD, A THRILLER in which author, Jane Bennett Munro takes the main character, Toni Day and wakes her in the middle of the night. An autopsy needs to be performed on a low life attorney, Jay Braithwaite Burke. In the investigation to find out what killed the lawyer, Day discovers quite a few people who had a reason to take him out.
 
On the list are most of her friends from the hospital where she works, her neighbors and many more.Burke was involved in some not so kosher deals which drew the attention of FBI agents.  He was also father of many children with many women. He leaves an odd condition in his will so the  children will be taken care of.
this is one big web.  Along with the low life lawyer, Day has an idea her husband is not being so faithful. Looks like the pathologist has a full plate.

 Ms. Munro herself is a 34 year pathologist, so writing the medical parts of the book are second nature to her.
The author wrote a good thriller with lots of webs to untangle.I only have one complaint with the book.  too many characters to keep up with.  There wasn’t time and room in the book to go into depth on most of the characters.

This was a good read but there just wasn”t enough depth on the characters and the story kept going back and forth all the time, never giving a chance to get to know the characters and their real situations.

I would give this book 3.5 STARS.

Well, I guess that’s better than no stars at all. I’ve sent my books out to be given honest reviews, and that’s what I wanted to get. I shouldn’t complain when I get constructive criticism because that’s what I wanted to get. Most of my reviews have been 5 stars so far, so getting one for 3.5 stars is a bit of a dash of cold water in the face. No matter. It’s life for an aspiring author.

My first reaction was What do you mean, my characters aren’t developed? Of course they’re developed. I spent lots of time developing them. But wait. I did that in Murder Under the Microscope. I didn’t re-do it in Too Much Blood. That’s probably a common mistake inexperienced authors make when writing a series. They assume everybody’s read the first one. But they haven’t.

Oops.

Besides which, there are an awful lot of characters in Too Much Blood. Many of them are children, who are peripheral. Why did I make the Maynards and the Burkes so prolific in the first place? I’m not a mother, so I didn’t give Toni children. I didn’t think I’d be able to make her convincing as a mother. So I gave the kids to her best friend and next door neighbor, Jodi Maynard.

I didn’t need to give Jay Braithwaite Burke so many children. I did so to make him look like more of a sleaze, leaving not only his wife but four children besides.

Mea culpa.

It’s too late to do anything about that in Grievous Bodily Harm; it’s already in publication. But I took the criticism to heart. In Death by Autopsy, I’m developing the pure living bejeezus out of my characters, just as if it were the first book in the series.

Let it never be said that I can’t learn from my mistakes. Thanks Goodreads, for setting me straight.

 

Trick or treat

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Written Word Wednesday *TOO MUCH BLOOD*

In the thriller TOO MUCH BLOOD, author Jane Bennett Munro wakes the main character pathologist Toni Day in the middle of the night to perform an autopsy on a less-than-ideal man — a sleazy attorney named Jay Braithwaite Burke. And Day, in her quest to find out what killed the lawyer, discovers that many people had motive to take the life of Burke.

                        Unfortunately, that list includes most of her friends that she has at the hospital in which she works, her neighbors and many more. Burke convinced many of the doctors at the hospital to invest in a hedge fund — an investment which did not pay out and which drew the attention of federal agents.

On top of that, it seems Burke was eager to spread his seed, having fathered many children with many different women. The children are taken care of in his will, on the condition that the mothers never again remarry.

So, the Burke situation is a real mess. Throw in Day’s increasing doubts about how faithful her husband is being and you got one woman who has way more on her plate than she needs.

Munro brings a welcoming amount of knowledge of the medical industry to this book. It is refreshing. Of course, Munro is herself a 34-year pathologist, so writing many of the medical and anatomical aspects would have been like second nature to her.

I really enjoyed the Burke side of the story. It is in-depth and complex, the stuff that good thrillers are made of. The twists and turns are wonderful.

One of the downfalls to the Burke story though, is that many of the characters mentioned are not given ample opportunity to be developed. There are so many different characters involved in it. Munro would have had to have written another WAR AND PEACE-length book to cover the character development.

The biggest issue I have with the book is the side story of Day’s husband and her ever-present thoughts on whether or not he is sleeping around. It was like giving the television remote to a child. Every once in a while, they jump to another channel for a second and then switch it back. Day will be working in the hospital, delving into the Burke case, and then, all of a sudden, her doubts will pop into her head and throw the story pacing off. Munro would have been much better off having separate chapters dealing with Day’s personal life, or she could have left that part out completely.

For that reason, I give it 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a good beach read, but the reread is not incredibly high.

 

That’s my latest review from Lana. I don’t think she liked it much.

 

That’s okay, everybody can’t like the same thing. But her criticisms bothered me.

First, she didn’t like that I couldn’t develop all my characters. Of course not, eleven of them were children and only peripheral. Maybe I didn’t need to have so many characters, but I really don’t see how.

Second, she thought Toni’s thoughts and concerns about Hal’s infidelity interfered with the story and should have been dealt with in separate chapters. Life’s not like that. Thoughts like that permeate every aspect of one’s life. I know that from personal experience.

Well, that’s one person’s opinion. Others have been better. Ah, such is the life of a writer!

 

Trick or treat? Which will it be?