14 Aug 2013

FINDING RACHEL DAVENPORT.

Remember my mentioning THIS contest and giveaway held on Shooting Star Mag's site? Well, I had the honour of receiving a copy of ......



FINDING RACHEL DAVENPORT by MICHAEL HARLING.

SOURCE: Received from Shooting Star Mag.

Rachel Davenport - former child prodigy, world-class gymnast and Miss Teen England - has retired from public life and lives in a small town, working as a clerk for a travel agency. By night, however, Rachel is a self-styled crime-fighter, seeking to right the wrongs inflicted on people who cannot help themselves.

But when her first mission goes horribly awry she finds herself pursued, not merely by the media, but by the police and an assortment of criminals who want her silenced. To preserve her anonymity, as well as her life, Rachel must prove to the police that she is one of the good guys and keep one step ahead of the bad guys, all while avoiding nosey neighbours, holding onto her job and juggling two would-be suitors.

..... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): If I hadn't accidentally blown up Keymer View Court, things might have turned out differently.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 98): "So you're saying this woman believes herself to be a comic book superhero, like Wonder Woman?"
"Oh yes, except she doesn't have an invisible plane. She has a car."

MY THOUGHTS: Picked this up expecting a gritty crime thriller? Then there's every chance you'll be disappointed. However, picked this up wanting a quirky, tongue-in-cheek read and you are in for a treat.

Of course there is nothing original about female superheroes. Indeed Rachel Davenport also goes by the name of Nadia Penric in homage of Diana Prince alias Wonder Woman. However in Rachel/Nadia we have a  unique and very modern creation. A one time beauty queen and three times winner of Mastermind who, 'not that smart, just knows a lot of stuff', she fancies herself as a something of a vigilante out to solve crime in what is quite frankly an implausible and yet fun story.

My only criticism being that once again here we have a novel in which 'Americanisms' start to creep in. And OK whilst it could be argued that such Americanised expressions now form part of the English vocabulary I'm afraid it just doesn't sit well with me and in this instance made the character of the otherwise very English Rachel seem less authentic.






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12 comments:

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I have been curious about this one since I first saw it. I am glad to have learned more about it here. It sounds like a fun book and I like the quirky elements. Great review!

Kelly said...

While this sounds like it would be a fun, quirky book, I'm not sure it's really my cup of tea.

Cherie Reich said...

This book really does sound fun and quirky! Loved the voice from the first line and memorable moment! Thanks for the review!

Lindsay said...

Sounds like a fun read Tracy :) I like the idea of her dual identity.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Thanks for the review! Glad you enjoyed the quirkiness overall. :)

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I have read quite a few quirky mysteries, cozy mysteries and mystery capers, just lately (I can't believe there are so many mystery sub-genres lurking out there!), in fact that even extends to the next book in my review pile, so I'm not so sure that I could cope with another one just yet!

I am in agreement with you, about the increasing use of 'Americanisms' and American spelling of words, that is creeping into the UK marketplace. I took up this point with one of my regular English authors and she maintains that it is a necessary evolvement of writing, if she wants to get her book published and gain any foothold in the US market, which is really quite sad.

Having said that, I have just finished a book by an American author, who introduces an English character into the story, with some pretty disastrous results language wise! I did have an email exchange with him about some of the obvious differences between English and American English, but nothing which equates to the finished, published result. Luckily, the story is a mystery caper, so in the scheme of things, the eccentricities of language only served to enhance the overall experience!

I should just chalk this one up as a lighter interlude betwee more serious reads.

Thanks for a fun post and review, it made me smile.

Yvonne

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

LOL! I don't think I'd mind the Amercanisms, but I can see why you wouldn't like them. This sounds like a fun book. I will have to check it out.

Suko said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this book. It does sound fun and quirky. :)

iamjenai said...

nice lol a superhero working as a travel agent? that's hmm it looks like this is my type of book. I'll check it out one of these days!

Naida said...

This does sound fun and quirky. I can imagine the Americanisms would be noticeable and take away from the authentic English feel of the character.
Great review!

Michael Harling said...

Tracy, thanks so much for the review! You are not the first to mention the Americanisms so it is time to reveal my shameful secret: I am an American. I realize that is no excuse, specially as I have lived n the UK for over 10 years. I honestly thought I had the lingo down. The good news is, the book was updated some time ago with the Americanisms toned down, at least.

Brian Joseph said...

The fact that the first mission goes wrong makes it sound a little different then most tales like this.


I think that with the plot as you describe it a story that does not take itself too seriously was a better bet then a serious crime story.