The Conterfeit Consul, by J.R. Rogers

I do not enjoy giving bad reviews and I certainly do not set out to do so, but when I cannot finish a book I have to reflect that.

Rating: 1 star

Genre: Espionage

The premise is interesting: it’s set in the run-up to World War II and the French are attempting to give the Americans a gentle nudge into the war effort.  We’re introduced to Gerard, an (expendable) agent with the French intelligence service who’s charged to make this happen – and so the story unfolds.

In my guidelines for reviews I state that a book I couldn’t finish would automatically receive a 1 star and that is where (unfortunately) this novel lies. That’s not to say I didn’t try, but after a few weeks I gave up one third of the way through and I’m not inclined, or curious to go back – it had become a chore to read.

For me at least, I found the pace of the story a big problem – at the start I could let it slide as the author needs time to build up the suspense and work on character development, but as I delved deeper and the deadpan delivery of events continued I quickly became bored.

I’m sure the author researched the era well – there’s certainly a lot of visual detail about buildings in New York and Paris (which is unfortunately lost on me as I’m not a visual creature).  There’s also a significant level of detail about the various politics at play but perhaps too much explanation is given at times – you need to give the reader some room to think for themselves.

Try a sample for yourself, perhaps you’ll get on better with it than I.  After all this isn’t the first book I haven’t been able to finish and what may not suit me might appeal to someone else.

Let me stress that so far on this blog I have only had to give out one other 1 star and that I’m willing to re-review if significant changes have been made – after all digital publishing is not set in stone.

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