Friday, 5 February 2016

Drive by Mark West



The crux of the story is a couple, who are thrown together, get chased by a car full of thugs and the terror that brings.

It felt like a quick read but I was surprised to see it took over an hour, so lots of bang for your buck, not to mention being absorbed by the story.

Novellas and shorts are a tough gig for authors to let the reader feel anything for the characters as story content has to take prime placement above characterisation, usually. However, MW is one of those special authors that can embed a character’s personality with a few simple lines of dialogue and how they interact with others.

Many other reviewers have commented on MW’s style of emotional writing and I was a bit dubious as this can often be a cover for over gooeyness and fluff, I was very happy to find this not to be true, in fact I found myself thinking of this story for a few hours after, wondering about the characters and feeling a little anxious about my next drive to work in the dark.

I did wonder how MW was going to portray the woman’s feelings/emotions in a potential rape situation, IMO he pulled it off. There was a “good” amount of tension/terror without the female (Nat) going into a jelly like melt down, this would not have stayed true to her previous character. I was pleased MW wrote her with some gumption and fight.

Equally the main male character (David) was not all bravado and kung fu panda, instead he had worries, nerves, doubts and sweaty moments. No get out of jail free Ex Machina here.

Not all high praise from me though; I really wanted a different ending, more guts and blood? Or a massive twist? Just something a bit more…… but actually it’s the slow creep that is now giving me the willies (but several different endings are always welcome in my world!). So overall a 3.5 from me but a definite 4 for potential.

On with the good stuff however, I was impressed with the relentless pace of the story, no let up, no rest for the reader. Yes, there were moments where I relaxed and thought “phew now they are safe” only to have that car and thugs show up again. It reminded me of a childhood hiding behind the sofa waiting for Worzel (Gummidge) to take his head off, I knew it would happen at some point and it was the waiting that terrified me.

I am really looking forward to a longer novel by MW and have my eye on In The Rain With The Dead.