When you get a book from iUniverse or Booksurge, or any of the many subsidy publishers out there, you never know what kind of quality you might find in the writing. For me, it has been a real crap shoot. On one hand I had the pleasure of reading the wonderful Still Alice from iUniverse which I reviewed here on BloggerNews (HERE) , and then I tried to read Angel In a Foreign City by Moti Shapira, published by Booksurge.

The book has a stunning cover, and Shapira has spared no expense when it comes to bookmarks and other promotional material. He and his publicist do know how to promote a book. Unfortunately, it is a tough read.

Ethan Eshed is a fictional private investigator based in Los Angeles, and he is asked by a former colleague in the Israeli Police Force to go to Mexico to investigate a kidnapping. The nine-year-old daughter of wealthy Mexican rancher, Diego Valencia, was taken and Eshed is to find her without involving the local police.

The premise is intriguing, which is why I wanted to read the book, but the writing is bogged with problems. The real story doesn’t begin until chapter three, the two previous chapters being filled with information that could have been condensed into a couple of pages and some of it not even included. In some places the narrative reads like report, which wouldn’t be a bad style choice considering the protagonist’s profession, but it needed to be used sparingly. This author obviously does not know the difference between “telling” the reader what is happening and “showing” the reader.

According to the blurb on the back of the book, the author drew on his years of experience in the Israeli Police Force to develop the character of Eshed, and that part rings true. What I found hard to believe was the romance that occurs once the character is in Mexico working on the case. He has just left a woman he said he loves, and suddenly he is hot for another? Maybe some men do that in real life, but women, especially this woman, does not find it believable in fiction. If we are to like this character and care about what happens to him, it isn’t going to happen if he is somewhat of a cad.

Angel in A Foreign City
Moti Shapira
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 1-4196-7100-6
$14.99 at Amazon.com

Maryann Miller – Maryann’s Blog

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