“Rogue Element” by David A Rollins

Book Title: Rogue Element

Author: David A Rollins

Not since reading Craig Thomas’s The Bear’s Tears over fifteen years ago, can I say that I was more absorbed in a thriller than in David A Rollins’s Rogue Element.

From the opening pages of the novel, it is obvious that Rollins’s mastery of his genre is accomplished. The thriller moves at such a speed that the reader never really has the opportunity to guess the next plot development and the writing is so skilled that the reader pleasantly engages with the text and is willing to be “taken along for the ride.”

It is becoming harder to find quality popular fiction that seeks to avoid the cliché and the familiar prose which is such a trademark of the lazy writer. Rollins strives and succeeds in delivering a fresh prose style that never overwhelms the primary mission of presenting a powerful and absorbing thriller.

There is evidence here of research also. Rollins appears comfortable in explaining the weapons of counter terrorism and of modern military aircraft. He is also skillful in developing characters that both engage and attract his audience.

Almost anyone writing in the thriller genre could see possibilities in writing about a terrorist attack on an international Qantas flight. Few I suspect could do it with such masterly aplomb and deft negotiation of characters and events.

Rollins’s Rogue Element will most likely see the beginning of a shining career in the production of fiction in the thriller genre for this adept Australian author.

Rogue Element by David A Rollins is published in Australia by Pan Macmillan Australia.

“Nobody True” by James Herbert

Book Title: Nobody True

Author: James Herbert

James Herbert’s Nobody True is one that all of the author’s many fans would enjoy. Having read The Rats and The Spear, however I am left with a slight feeling of disappointment.

Herbert is an accomplished horror storyteller and this novel does what Herbert does best. Having asserted that, the novel’s basic problem lies in the fact that it is overlong and, as a result, loaded with unnecessarily repetitive reflections. Reading this novel, I had the feeling that Herbert may have had the whole manuscript together and some editor asked him to pad it out. If this is so, it is a tragedy as the 394 page novel would have been a real “page turner” if it were approximately 100 pages less.

James True is an experiencer of OOBE’s or out-of-body experiences. On one such journey, something goes fatefully wrong and here is where the narrative begins to gain momentum. The author allows us to become interested in the character, but there is an irritating distancing and excess verbiage, which inhibits us from feeling with the main character. Jim True’s often repetitive reflections in fact, begin to irritate, as does his duplicity over his feelings towards his wife.

Herbert includes some nice plot twists in the novel and it is recommended as a good read for its ideas. The author proves how skilled he has become at his art; but please Mr Herbert, understand one of the principles of good writing. Sometimes less, really is, more.

Nobody True by James Herbert is published in Australia by Pan Macmillan Australia.