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Pondering the pages ~ The Hong Kong Connection by S.G. Kiner

April 6, 2009

Today’s pondering:

Recently I read The Hong Kong Connection by S.G. Kiner. This post has been a struggle for me. Gosh dang it I’ve rewritten and reworded it so many times that I’ve finally beat it to a pulp. Usually I write a post, read it through a couple of times, tweak here and there and call it good to go but this one is starting to the get the best of me. So for better or worse here it is.

This book is billed as a suspense thriller. It has all the appropriate elements needed to bring high-octane, seat of your pants thrills but doesn’t deliver the goods. There are corrupt government and military officials. The requisite dirty dealing, double scheming, money laundering bad boys. The knights in shining amour riding in to save the day. But it doesn’t quite reach the boiling point. I didn’t get that ‘hurry, turn the page’ feeling that usually comes along when a book has really grabbed my attention. An essential ingredient is missing from the recipe though I can’t quite place what it is. You taste the sauce, add more salt, taste again and keep tinkering. That’s what I think this book needs – some tinkering.

I can’t place my finger on it and I’m not going to stress about it. This is Ms. Kiner’s debut novel and I believe it’s a fairly decent first try. Hey I finished didn’t I? Just so you know I did if you do read it – Ms. Sloane is raped twice, assists in instituting new government stock traders legislation, is accused of killing a major character (I’m not giving his name away) and in the end earns a $20 million $$ government consulting contract. Of the $20 million $10 is to be paid by the Chinese and $10 by the US. I know there’s a sequel in the works and I’d most likely give Susanna Sloane and company another go round but honestly I’m not going to be beating down Amazon’s door to get a copy.

A good book should leave you…slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.
~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958



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