Saturday, 25 February 2012

Troubles and Thrills: A Review of Chill Run by Russell Brooks

My Book Review of Chill Run by Russell Brooks:

Chill Run by Russell Brooks is a reasonably entertaining and breezy crime thriller, with a nice fast pace and some engaging characters.

The book begins with struggling writer Eddie, who cooks up a publicity scheme with his friends Corey and Jordyn only to have it go horribly wrong, landing them in the middle of murder. The three go on the run as fugitives while trying to figure a way out of their predicament.

The novel’s strength lies in its well depicted main characters, still full of youthful dreams and plans, even if a bit world weary around the edges. The author does a fine job of letting the reader empathize with Eddie, Corey and Jordyn, by presenting them not only as normal, capable people, but also as rash, impulsive, moody and desperate as the situation warrants. Eddie’s family situation especially came off as genuine and honest. You connect with the protagonists and their difficulties carry you through the story.

I did have a few problems with the book, however. I thought the plot catalyst a bit on the weak side for my taste, although not too improbable (and I did relate to the motivation behind the scheme) so I was willing to mostly buy into it. Also, I felt some of the secondary character reactions came too easily, without enough inner conflict, especially the wife’s acceptance of Eddie’s story and the scene with the Governor. I think a bit more build-up and character tension would have served the story better in those instances. And personally, the minor plot point using the program Canadian Idol bugged me due to fact it the show hasn’t aired on Canadian TV since 2008; to me this detail either dates, or seemingly contradicts with, the timeline of the book.

Despite some of my quibbles though, I enjoyed reading this novel.

Chill Run is available on

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