Welcome back my book reading friends! Mrs. Y is coming to you with a review of “Crisis Point (A Brad Coulter Novel Book 1) By Dwayne Clayden. This was a requested review by his team, and I received a Kindle version of the book to read for free. I would like to thank everyone on Dwayne’s team that was involved in asking me for this honest review and sending it to me. I do appreciate it.
To start this review we go into first impressions. This is a world that we no longer live in, it’s the 1970’s, and the world is a different place. I’m not sure one would call it kinder or gentler, but it is very different. So to set the tone here, I’d like you to consider the classic film “Dirty Harry” in tone, with Canada as it’s the backdrop.
The opening hook and chapters had me from the jump. I was taken to the side of a pair of policemen trying to do their normal job when some elite bad guys take advantage of the situation. I’m not giving any spoilers here, but I will say the outcome of that first encounter is the drop and hook for the story, and it wrapped me up entirely. Consider me impressed!
Let me divert the review a bit into the critique portion of my scoring system, and for this, I’m going to the category of “Story Structure, Foundation, and Presentation”. For this category, I’m critiquing “Presentation” and it specifically has to do with the prose involved in presented action sequences. There are many ways to write action and adventure stories. As an example of a writing style, some writers become alliteration aficionados, arranging and altering the flow of the action, always mindful of the appearance in action when read. When this happens the story flows poetically, like something out of Tolkein.
As another example of writing styles for action scenes, some writers give the nitty-gritty facts, like sand, getting everything into every step of the action. The writer takes time, detailing every step of the journey with the action like a loving mother might feed an infant child their first meal. The writing style comes one piece at a time, breaking only for an occasional metaphor to demonstrate how something felt or looked. Often when I read this style, I feel like William Shatner is the voice and it can make me laugh where I shouldn’t.
“Crisis Point”, however, has no such poetic or metaphoric descriptions of the action in the scene. It’s very raw. The sentences read somewhat robotic. If any sentence has a pause where a period or comma could be used, generally it ends in a period. The grammar here is strict, punctuation unforgiving, and sentences are short. The writing does not flow fluidly. The reader is going to read the action. The reader will see the words that are presented. Yet the words will not flow or have the same feeling as other styles allow.
That said this is a novel about cops and robbers and it’s all about the action and fighting. For the specific writing style choice that was made, it’s okay, but it’s jarring. To use the same method to describe scrambling an egg as shooting someone across a room and saving the day certainly is one way to write it. The style choice is fine but tedious after awhile. I found it especially striking during the climax when the tension was at it’s tightest, and the pain was so realistic. As far as the narration in my mind as I was reading, this was not a Morgan Freeman or Matthew McConaughey’s robust flow in my brain, it was Ben Stein at his finest. If you are someone who likes a bit more of fluid prose in your action, just be aware this is a thing that might be an issue for you.
Let me go into what I truly enjoyed about “Crisis Point”. To start with, we go to the category “Cliche Much” and the misused and unoriginal cliche that is often used, “Lone wolf cop against the red tape but doing the right thing because, reasons!” What “Crisis Point” easily could have become was buddy cop drama cliche, and it has all the elements that would mark the typical boring scenario up. I am so pleased to let you all know, at no time did “Crisis Point” fall into that cliche trap. Instead, we have a cop who is indeed against some very serious odds, but there aren’t the typical “red tape” or beurocracy issues one would find in an unoriginal way. At no time did a captain order the protagonist into the office, explain the mayor was breathing down his throat, and how could the cop just leave that many dead guys in the parking lot like he did? That was nice. Instead, we have very unique and realistic situational issues Brad deals with his job both politically and professionally. We also have far more unique elements to the bad guys and why they are involved with the crimes they have chosen.
Next, I go to the category “Story Structure, Foundation and Presentation” and when it comes to all three elements, there were serious highlights in “Crisis Point”. The grammar, spelling, and punctuation were great. Kindle read beautifully for this novel, and the settings on default were fantastic. I loved how much attention was put into the plot points of the story, character development and the progression of both villains and heroes. Reading a story where the villains get a full story arch with marked character progression is great, especially in a novel like this.
Lastly, under my “Whole Story” category, “Crisis Point” was indeed a fully fleshed out novel. There wasn’t some insane cliffhanger that the story was left upon for the reader to have to purchase the next novel to find out. Everything has a full arch, and the climax to the novel is very close to the ending of the story which was a breath of fresh air for a series.
Overall “Crisis Point” is a wonderful first story in a series, and it reads very well. I found it wonderful on Kindle and I hope you do too.
I am giving “Crisis Point” a score of 92/100 which is a 5-star review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you love cop and crime drama, or stories with a lot of action, or even tales of vengeance, this is a story you can sink your teeth into. Enjoy!