I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Missing Barbados by Willem Pain
Published by Independent on 13 March 2013
The cover and the blurb really drew me in but I didn’t enjoy this as much as I had hoped. Private detective Susan “Ice” Berg is hired to find a girl who has gone missing in Barbados. Her father, a member of the British aristocracy doesn’t want to involve the police as it may tarnish the family name. She and her sidekick Dutch get up to a variety of hijinks while tracking the teen and you have to wonder whether hiring them was worth all of the property damage they caused.
I didn’t feel I knew two leads very well mostly because we tended to skip from one improbable action scene to another. Dutch is able to charm any female apart from Susan and this helps them in their side quest which was to find a golden sword. Unfortunately despite his good heart, his quick temper gets them into a variety of scrapes. Susan is a good foil for him in many ways as she is equally capable of dishing out the violence. We don’t see much character development during the story which is a shame.
There were some formatting and grammatical issues with the version I read which was disorientating. Often no line was left to signal a new speaker and there was some oddly phrased dialogue. I found the pacing a bit choppy. The over-the-top humour sometimes misses the mark.
The ideas are sound but for me the execution needed more polish. The target audience is clearly fans of action and thriller novels or those who like the humorous madcap adventures of Stephanie Plum. If you fall into one of these categories, you would probably appreciate this more than I did.