Tuesday, 12 September 2017

eBook Review - Foxglove Copse

This isn't my normal read. I know that. I fully accept that this is a little out of my comfort zone, but I liked the sound of the blurb for this so requested it on NetGalley. I didn't think I would be approved nor did I think I would have read it yet. But as I plan to try and read two or three eProofs this month so I can focus on big, meaty books next month (and get myself ready for La Belle Sauvage), I thought I would hammer this out.

After suffering a huge anxiety attack six months ago, Sam has left his high-powered job, his emotionally-bullying family and has been living in his van. But with his savings running low, Sam is beginning to run out of opinions.

So, when he decides to park up in a copse and goes for a walk, the last thing he expected to find was a murdered sheep. And when he's found next to the body, he has a lot of explaining to do. Especially when it looks like it was a ritual killing.

Ruan, who finds Sam with his aunt, doesn't believe Sam did it. When he first saw Sam, he felt some kind of connection and when he sees how Sam has been living, Ruan decides that he needs to save Sam. But when the killing escalate and it looks the killer could be the same person behind some nasty cyber-bullying, the two need to work fast on stopping him before they can figure out their feelings for each other...

This book is part of a series - the Porthkennack series (which is split into two sections - contemporary or historical) - so while you can read them in order, you can read each novel as standalone as they are written by different authors (it looks like there are four authors involved). And the fact that each book tackles an issue in one form or another, it appealed to me when I requested this as this tackled LGBT characters, a mystery involving someone pretending to practice the occult and having a character sugaring from anxiety - something I'm not well read in nor do I see often tackled in books.

Anyway, reactions to this. I read this within three/four days earlier this month when I was super lazy and very tired (I had several late nights with friends/neighbours/family/etc) so, when I started this, I thought it was going a light, fluffy, LGBT love story with a mystery twist to it. Oh, how wrong I was. And, in a weird way, am kinda ok with that. Up to a point.

It was a fast, addictive read. I would sit and whizz through, surprised at how involved I got and wondering if I should investigate the rest of the series (the only title within this series that caught my eye at the moment is House of Cards, though I will keep eyes peeled for upcoming titles). It was much darker than I was expecting and, as someone who does like to read a good crime novel, this appealed to me.

Like I said, I am not well read or well-informed on how the subject of Sam's anxiety and his panic attacks was handled. So, I'm not going to go too in-depth with that. If someone knows more information and has read this, could you let me know your thoughts and opinions.

Like I said earlier, I was kinda on board with the fact that this book was darker than I expected. But up to a point. There were issues I do have with Foxglove Copse. I wasn't a fan of the instalove between Ruan and Sam. It was just too fast for my taste. Plus, Sam does suffer for anxiety, so I did find it a little hard to believe that Sam would fall for Ruan as quickly as he did.

I suppose this lends itself into the pacing. I get why the pacing was a little faster than expected, but for some reason, it felt off. The off-ness felt the same with some of issues raised - the cyber-bullying, ritual killing and a the possible suicide that could be linked to the cyber-bullying. To me, these are quite dark issues, but with the writing's tone, it didn't sit right with me. Plus, the climax felt like an anticlimax. It felt too easy. I can't put my finger on why, but I'm not a fan of how these issues were tackled.

It felt like, even though this is written for a more grown-up audience, this was written for a New Adult audience. And, if it was, it feels a bit disrespectful to the subject matter and to the reader.

Maybe I am being a bit harsh. I did whizz through the book and I might return to this series and try another author and this probably is a good airport/beach read, but along the way, it misses the mark on certain subject matters.

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