Sunday, April 6, 2014

Catching up on crime: ATOMIC CITY by Sally Breen


Atomic CityThis is an interesting book on so many levels. Despite enjoying it there was something that felt a little off. Set on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia it was nice to see an Aussie author tackle noir and do it well. I thought the writing was at times poetic and vivid, with the seedy depiction of the sunshine state a real highlight.

One thing that bugged was that the characters just didn’t feel real, more a cardboard cut-out than three dimensional. That said the author did go to some length to make Jade, one half of the books’ focus, a tormented and deeply scarred individual with a penchant for the grifters game, same with the titular male lead ‘The Dealer’ – the foundation for a decent character yet something was just a little off centre.

The plot revolves around Jade and her attempts at luring members of the opposite sex into her world of scams and cons. For the most part she’s successful but quickly shows her devil may care attitude when switching sides to hook up with a prominent underworld figure, leaving The Dealer alone with his thoughts of past capers and romanticisms.

From that point forward, the reader learns not to trust her narrative nor The Dealers as jealously boils over and versions of the truth become skewed.

I give this 4 stars on Goodreads but not with confidence. The premise and poetry enough to satisfy me despite the lack of character depth.   

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