On the weekend I finished Buzz Cut by James Hall. This is the first book of his that I have read, and it will probably be the last. When the lead character has the name Thorn, for me that should have been the warning sign.
Basically the book is about a guy Butler Jack, a psycho, who get his kicks out of jamming 40,000 volts through people and quoting the history of words, he takes control of a luxury cruise liner looking to extort the owners for big money.
I won't give away too much because people might want to read the book, but I have to say I didn't like it.
First is motivation. I couldn't get into what drove the main characters in the book. Why does ole Butler Jack happily kill people, why does the owner of the luxury liner not want the Feds brought in when the body count is piling up, why does Thorn - our fearless hero - find he has to hunt this guy down at all costs. The things that motivated all of them didn't convince me enough to feel empathy for any of them.
Second is the antagonist, Butler Jack. His thing, his "schtick" as it were, is a fascination for the history of words. Just before he would kill someone he would start sprouting on about how "ransom" came into being or other stuff. You know what it did for the flow of the book? It shot it in the leg and left it limping along like it was never going to make it home. Just when I thought something interesting was going to happen we got the full lowdown on how Florida got its name. For crying out loud stop killing the pace with this mundane crap!
Third is the names: Thorn, Sugerman, Butler Jack. They might do it for other people, they just didn't do it for me.
Unbelievable characters, an unbelievable plot that didn't work for me, and motivation that just wasn't believable at all.
Even though I give it one star I respect James Hall. I respect him because he is a published author and I'm not. I have got a long way to go yet.