The Ancient Nine

The Ancient Nine

"Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable." —Harlan Coben, author of Missing YouCambridge, Massachusetts, Fall 1988Spenser CollinsAn unlikely Harvard prospect, smart and athletic, strapped for cash, determined to succeed. Calls his mother—who raised him on her own in Chicago—every week.Dalton WinthropA white-shoe lega...

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Title:The Ancient Nine
Author:Ian K. Smith
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Ancient Nine Reviews

  • Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    From the publisher --- "Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable." —Harlan Coben, author of Missing You

    Spencer Collins thinks his life at Harvard will be all about basketball and pre-med; hard workouts and grinding work in class. The friends he’s made when he hits the storied ivy-clad campus from a very different life in urban Chicago are

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    From the publisher --- "Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable." —Harlan Coben, author of Missing You

    Spencer Collins thinks his life at Harvard will be all about basketball and pre-med; hard workouts and grinding work in class. The friends he’s made when he hits the storied ivy-clad campus from a very different life in urban Chicago are a happy bonus. But Spencer is about to be introduced to the most mysterious inner sanctum of the inner sanctum: to his surprise, he’s in the running to be “punched” for one of Harvard’s elite final clubs.

    The Delphic Club is known as “the Gas” for its crest of three gas-lit flames, and as Spencer is considered for membership, he’s plunged not only into the secret world of male privilege that the Gas represents, but also into a century-old club mystery. Because at the heart of the Delphic, secured deep inside its guarded mansion club, is another secret society: a shadowy group of powerful men known as The Ancient Nine.

    Who are The Ancient Nine? And why is Spencer—along with his best friend Dalton Winthrop—summoned to the deathbed of Dalton’s uncle just as Spencer is being punched for the club? What does the lore about a missing page from one of Harvard’s most historic books mean? And how does it connect to religion, murder, and to the King James Bible, if not to King James himself?

    The Ancient Nine is both a coming of age novel and a swiftly plotted story that lets readers into the ultimate of closed worlds with all of its dark historical secrets and unyielding power.

    We all have heard a lot about Harvard but this “semi-true” (based on real events) story was quite educational even if it wasn’t 100% accurate. It was also interesting to see that it was written by an MD who has written diet/health books and one other novel which I have already ordered from Amazon to read. (BTW Ian Smith is about 40 years younger than I thought he would be after perusing his website!)

    The book draws you in and keeps you hooked and it went down paths that I never dreamt existed much less expected to read about.

    PERFECT FOR BOOK CLUBS as it will keep you discussing race, privilege, lore and legend for hours on end…5 solid stars from this librarian.

  • Tammy

    An unlikely student is punched (nominated) for membership into the Delphic club, one of the nine most exclusive clubs at Harvard. Things unravel from there as Spenser and another student in 1988 become obsessed with discovering the dark secrets of the Ancient Nine, a clandestine group within the Gas. There is a murder but it happens during the 1920’s so this is more of a puzzle requiring academic research and digging (some of it physical) rather than a traditional murder mystery. Be prepared for

    An unlikely student is punched (nominated) for membership into the Delphic club, one of the nine most exclusive clubs at Harvard. Things unravel from there as Spenser and another student in 1988 become obsessed with discovering the dark secrets of the Ancient Nine, a clandestine group within the Gas. There is a murder but it happens during the 1920’s so this is more of a puzzle requiring academic research and digging (some of it physical) rather than a traditional murder mystery. Be prepared for the objectification of women which I took with a grain of salt given the time period and that most of the characters are basically testosterone driven frat boys and sons of the 1%. After all, women have only recently found their voice within the #metoo movement. There’s also some nifty Harvard history, legend and lore along the way. Read this if you’re in the mood for a campus novel that pulls back the curtain on some very snarled ivy.

  • DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes:

    I rarely felt self-conscious about what I did or didn’t have, but it wasn’t lost on me that my competitors for a coveted membership were arriving in expensive foreign cars while I arrived in a pair of sturdy five-year-old Florsheims that had been resoled four times and polished so much, the white stitching had turned black.

    The racial politics at Harvard were complicated. Black students were in a tough position. If we spent too much time with white students, other blacks figured

    Favorite Quotes:

    I rarely felt self-conscious about what I did or didn’t have, but it wasn’t lost on me that my competitors for a coveted membership were arriving in expensive foreign cars while I arrived in a pair of sturdy five-year-old Florsheims that had been resoled four times and polished so much, the white stitching had turned black.

    The racial politics at Harvard were complicated. Black students were in a tough position. If we spent too much time with white students, other blacks figured we had sold out. If we spent too much time with other black students, our white classmates figured we were angry separatists. The dining hall was one big murky fishbowl of social complexities. Everyone looked to see who was sitting with whom and how much time they spent interacting on the “other” side. I was lucky because playing a sport gave me a pass that the non-athletes didn’t have. By dint of my team and training obligations, I automatically spent time with both blacks and whites, which gave me immunity.

    He had heavy bags under his eyes, as if miniature pillows had been slipped under his skin. He was military stocky and wore a pair of jeans that looked tight enough to constipate him.

    Her T-shirt had j-u-i-c-y spread across it in small crystals, and the fabric was under so much tension, I thought the I was going to pop off and hit me in the face.

    There were two things about Professor Charles Davenport that you’d never forget. He probably had the biggest ears of any man that’s walked the face of the earth, long doughy flaps that fell beneath his jawline with a forest of hair growing out of them. Then there were those glasses, big and black and rectangular, made all the more prominent by his hairless dome.

    She had an uncanny ability to quickly put things into perspective and make molehills out of mountains.

    Many people never even bothered leaving the tailgates, and most of those who did only entered the stadium at halftime, when their champagne had run dry or their canisters of caviar were empty. This crowd even cheered differently. They didn’t yell and clap like most football fans. Rather they spoke complete, grammatically correct sentences, saying things like, “What a magnificent play!” and “Thrash them, Harvard!” Sometimes it was difficult to tell if they were watching a football game or croquet match.

    When the Harvard side of the stadium rose in unison, it was not to clap, but to jingle car keys in a massive show of approval. I watched in awe as thousands of Jaguar, Mercedes, and Rolls-Royce keys dangled in the air…

    Money has an insidious way of making decent human beings behave in a most indecent way.

    My Review:

    I wasn’t prepared for the complexity of this intriguing read and held on through a complicated and intricately woven tale with multiple yet equally compelling storylines. I pictured a handsome future President of recent history as the main character and it was a near perfect fit. There were compounded secrets within secrets and an endless and tantalizing quagmire to unravel. The writing was insightfully observant and sumptuously detailed. I reveled in Dr. Smith’s vividly colorful and amusing descriptions and looked forward to the introductions of each new character and locale. His premise pricked my curiosity and his well-crafted storylines kept it well fed while consistently pulling me in deeper and deeper into the group’s knotty and clandestine vortex. Like an iceberg, little was as it appeared to the eye. The characters were oddly unique and quirky, even the sinister ones held my interest and left me thirsting for more. The ending was highly satisfying with Spenser’s achieved results being far better than expected and left a contented smile on my face.

  • Mackenzie - Traveling Sister

    A twisty mysterious ride through the depths of the Harvard libraries and to the best local spots in Cambridge—I absolutely had a blast reading

    ! If you’re a fan of mysteries and secret societies, like the

    and the

    , you will not want to miss picking this book up. This read flew by for me! I was completely engrossed in the story, and it had a good mix of history and details about the campus (Harvard) and town (Cambridge) to make it feel completely authentic. It

    A twisty mysterious ride through the depths of the Harvard libraries and to the best local spots in Cambridge—I absolutely had a blast reading

    ! If you’re a fan of mysteries and secret societies, like the

    and the

    , you will not want to miss picking this book up. This read flew by for me! I was completely engrossed in the story, and it had a good mix of history and details about the campus (Harvard) and town (Cambridge) to make it feel completely authentic. It even had a little romance! You will be completely hooked by chapter two!

    In the fall of 1988 Spenser Collins is a sophomore at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Spenser is an unlikely prospect for Harvard—a black male from the south side of Chicago raised by a single mother, and he’s one heck of a basketball player.

    Spenser is best friends with Dalton Winthrop, a legacy at Harvard coming from a long lineage of Winthrops to grace those hallowed grounds. Dalton has the looks, the money, and the name to show his belonging at Harvard.

    When Spenser is punched to join one of Harvard’s most exclusive clubs, the Delphic Club, both Spenser and Dalton are stunned. Sure, Spenser is smart, athletic, and a good person, but he’s also black, poor, and doesn’t have the “pedigree” that a club like the Delphic would usually look for.

    As Spenser begins his journey with the Delphic, Dalton tells him of another secret—a club within the club called the Ancient Nine. No one outside of the Ancient Nine are sure of its existence, but Dalton may know more than most. His great-uncle was in the Delphic Club, and something Dalton has seen at his house makes him sure he is one of the Ancient Nine.

    Desperate to know what the Ancient Nine was formed to protect—the club’s greatest secrets—Dalton and Spenser seek answers. Combing through the rarest books at Harvard, centuries-old newspapers in the library archives, and clandestine meetings with former members, Spenser and Dalton begin to discover that the secrets of the Delphic may be darker than they ever imagined. Now, they must discover the truth before they become the Delphic’s next secret…

    Most people can guess by the name of my blog (It’s

    !) that I’m a life-long student and learner. So much of my identity is wrapped up in being a student and a member of academic tradition. A book like

    was an absolute delight for me to read. I have found myself on some seemingly doomed hunts through microfilm archives and crumbling books to find that needle in a haystack article (though the articles I seek rarely refer to a mysterious death).

    Smith’s writing is so detailed that it was easy to picture all of the settings in this novel. I felt like I took a trip to Harvard myself. I loved the amount of historical information about the campus and the town that was sprinkled throughout. It made me feel like a part of the story, envisioning those late night greasy diners with the best cheesesteak in Cambridge, or the underground tunnel with study rooms where Dalton and Spenser meet to speak in private about their quest.

    And then there is a bit of romance! Enter Ashley, a girl working at the University to get herself through community college. Spenser is instantly smitten, but Ashley keeps him at arms length. He’s a Harvard boy, and she can’t imagine he’d ever fall for a girl from the wrong side of town. I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say that Ashley may be underestimating our friend, Spenser! I think Spenser may surprise her with his persistence and authenticity. I loved these moments with Ashley and at basketball practice when we see Spenser being a regular college student. They grounded the story in a way that was needed for it to feel believable.

    I hope that you get a chance to read this one if it strikes your interest! Expect a LOT of great libraries, some pretty ancient books, and a fun mystery!

  • Joy D

    Set mostly in 1988, this book takes the reader inside Harvard’s final clubs (social clubs not officially recognized by the school) through a multi-layered mystery related to the disappearance of a student in 1927. The protagonist, Spencer Collins, is a pre-med undergraduate basketball player. He is being recruited by the Delphic, an exclusive all-male club with dark secrets. As a person of color from the south side of Chicago, he is not the typical privileged, wealthy, white recruit. Spencer and

    Set mostly in 1988, this book takes the reader inside Harvard’s final clubs (social clubs not officially recognized by the school) through a multi-layered mystery related to the disappearance of a student in 1927. The protagonist, Spencer Collins, is a pre-med undergraduate basketball player. He is being recruited by the Delphic, an exclusive all-male club with dark secrets. As a person of color from the south side of Chicago, he is not the typical privileged, wealthy, white recruit. Spencer and a friend attempt to solve the multiple mysteries related to the rumored leadership of the club, the titular “Ancient Nine.” Their search for clues becomes an intellectual puzzle, leading them to explore libraries, archives, and ancient texts. I very much enjoyed the cerebral parts of this story; however, it was difficult for me to overlook the numerous scenes that objectified women (bawdy jokes, descriptions of physical attributes, women as “rewards”). If the book had stuck to the mystery, which was interesting and complex, I would have enjoyed it more and rated it higher. Contains sexism, hazing, and underage drinking. Recommended to those that enjoy erudite mysteries.

  • Debra

    Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fall 1988

    Spenser Collins is a sophomore at Harvard University when he is "punched" to join the Delphic Club, an exclusive all male final club that can boast some of world's most successful businessmen, politicians, Hollywood legends and Wall Street titans to name a few. Spenser, a basketball player at Harvard, is from Chicago and is the son of a single Mother. He does not quite fit Delphic Club's membership criteria and yet they are interested in him. Spenser's friend,

    Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fall 1988

    Spenser Collins is a sophomore at Harvard University when he is "punched" to join the Delphic Club, an exclusive all male final club that can boast some of world's most successful businessmen, politicians, Hollywood legends and Wall Street titans to name a few. Spenser, a basketball player at Harvard, is from Chicago and is the son of a single Mother. He does not quite fit Delphic Club's membership criteria and yet they are interested in him. Spenser's friend, Dalton Winthrop, has lived a life of luxury and knows a lot about the exclusive clubs at Harvard. He encourages Spenser to attend the social. Dalton's great-uncle is the Delphic's oldest living member. During their talks, Dalton mentions the "Ancient Nine" the infamous secret club within the club. The Ancient Nine is shrouded in mystery and Dalton shares several theories and Harvard Legends about how and why the club within the club exists. Dalton encourages Spenser to check out the club and find out any information he can find about the Ancient Nine. When Spenser meets an interesting man at the first social, Dalton and Spenser have their interest piqued even more than it already was, and they decide to do whatever they can to find out more about the club and the top secret exclusive Ancient Nine. Fueled by a meeting with Dalton's great-uncle and the request to retrieve a secret book, the two young men must be clever, smart, and cunning to learn the truth.

    Through the course of this novel, the reader learns more about the Ancient Nine but also about Harvard, Harvard's history and secret societies in general. Spenser and Dalton discover there had been a missing person/murder in the 1920's and as they research, the reader is also shown the library and research system at Harvard.

    This book has a little bit of everything: secret societies, mystery, suspense, romance, and has a cat and mouse feel. There is also the objectification of women which may be uncomfortable to some, but I feel is indicative of the time the book is set in and the fact that the book is about frat/secret societies. There are stories within stories and those who want to keep the secrets of the club - just that secrets. Plus, there is the component about religion, the mention of King James and the King James Bible. How is all this related? You'll have to read this to find out! There is a lot going on in this book - almost too much at times for me.

    Harvard, Secret Societies, Murder, Mayhem, Research and Mystery rolled into one.

    Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

    Read more of my reviews at

  • Stormi (Bewitched Reader)

    The Ancient Nine is a mysterious story about the intriguing hidden life of the elite final clubs of Harvard Universities. The story is well paced and involves a lot of history about something that I didn’t even know existed until now. Connections are made and details revealed throughout the story in places where the reader wouldn’t expect. There were times where the history and information about Harvard and the final clubs revealed would start to be unnecessarily detailed. These are the places w

    The Ancient Nine is a mysterious story about the intriguing hidden life of the elite final clubs of Harvard Universities. The story is well paced and involves a lot of history about something that I didn’t even know existed until now. Connections are made and details revealed throughout the story in places where the reader wouldn’t expect. There were times where the history and information about Harvard and the final clubs revealed would start to be unnecessarily detailed. These are the places where I would find myself skimming until the story picked back up.

    There is a real coming of age feeling to Spenser’s story that I enjoyed. When I researched Ian K Smith MD and found out The Ancient Nine and Spenser’s experience with The Delphic Club was largely based off of Smith’s own experiences, that only made me enjoy it more.

    I voluntarily received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    This is like a Dan Brown novel meets the Skulls, meets romance, meets bromance, meets thriller. There's a LOT going on with this book! Spencer gets punched to become one of Harvard's elite clubs - where women can't join, but they sure can serve you and be your entertainment! There are several elite clubs that you could be vying for, but The Delphic Club and the powerful men of The Ancient Nine - well that's where you really want to be! Once punched, Spencer decides to go on a journey to figure o

    This is like a Dan Brown novel meets the Skulls, meets romance, meets bromance, meets thriller. There's a LOT going on with this book! Spencer gets punched to become one of Harvard's elite clubs - where women can't join, but they sure can serve you and be your entertainment! There are several elite clubs that you could be vying for, but The Delphic Club and the powerful men of The Ancient Nine - well that's where you really want to be! Once punched, Spencer decides to go on a journey to figure out the depths behind these men and the full story of a murder that happened decades ago bringing in history, religion and the pursuit of justice. PHEW!

    Here's what I enjoyed about this book - I love anything related to secret societies and the journey to getting into one. Although sororities and fraternities these days have all but squashed their "hazing" days (ahem), secret societies have either run their course or have become so secret that they're not very widely know (hence the word secret - ya get me?). I enjoyed Spencer's tenacity in wanted to get the details of the behind the scenes of what he may very well be getting into. Don't you do YOUR research before getting into something that will be a big part of your life? Lots of research, lore, backstories and travels become involved with Spencer and his trusty side kick, Dalton. I also did enjoy the little romance between Spencer and Ashley... that added a bit of levity to the whole story.

    Here's what didn't quite work for me. Ashley's continued banter with Spencer about how she won't date stuck up, preppie Harvard boys.... ok, we get it - we don't need this explained or brought back up in EVERY interaction. At times, the book could get over detailed - I've always had issues with this - I'm just going to get bored if the author is describing, in length, where everything is placed or within the vicinity of something else. And also, I'm not the biggest fan of history so I did feel like there were moments where I was being given a history lesson and that didn't quite press my interest button. That's not the author's fault - that's just my own preference.

    What I found most interesting is that I had to keep reminding myself that Spencer and Dalton are in COLLEGE, they're young men trying to live their best life and somehow the feel I received from the way the story was written was that they were much older and the time period felt more in the older days and not the 1980s.

    Definitely a great read for those who love the thrill of the chase and secret societies.

    Thank you to St. Martin's Press for this copy and stop on the Blog Tour.

  • Krystin Rachel (Here's The Fucking Twist)

    |

    A 1920s fence hopper

    Basically the author is just writing himself and it’s weird

    You have to read a research paper to get to them

    You ever read a novel and can immediately tell it’s written by a first-time author because they don’t know how to chill the fuck out with descriptive passages and scenes that don’t further a plot?

    Yeah. This book suffers from that in abundance.

    The heart of the novel is that of Spenser Collins, a young

    |

    A 1920s fence hopper

    Basically the author is just writing himself and it’s weird

    You have to read a research paper to get to them

    You ever read a novel and can immediately tell it’s written by a first-time author because they don’t know how to chill the fuck out with descriptive passages and scenes that don’t further a plot?

    Yeah. This book suffers from that in abundance.

    The heart of the novel is that of Spenser Collins, a young black man attending Harvard in 1988. After becoming an unlikely candidate to join one of the University’s secret societies, The Delphic, Spenser and his buddy Dalton, stumble upon a fifty-year-old mystery – the disappearance of another young student in the 1920s, who was never heard from again after illegally entering the Delphic’s mansion in search of the answer to the question: Is there really a secret society

    the secret society called the Ancient Nine who spend their whole lives guarding an invaluable secret?

    I mean, part of me was thinking of the movie

    circa 2000. You know, Joshua Jackson and Paul Walker getting into some deadly adventure after joining a secret society that will do anything to protect its secrets, protect its own, its power and its money? But sadly for me, this book hits a decidedly different tone, while maintaining that “boys club” feel and presenting the objectification of women as a good thing.

    Spenser sets off to solve the erudite mystery at hand with the help of his rich friend, Dalton. They travel to different parts of the country to ask questions and steal things, rummage through library archives and ancient texts, and even dig up human remains, in search of an answer to the question about the Ancient Nines.

    And I can totally get on board with a mystery that is more brainy and less about dead bodies; that is about looking through books and putting together old clues, instead of something that is a little bit more fast-paced and dangerous.

    Readers who are into a more intellectually driven mystery, who like steady streams of research information shoved down their throats, will really enjoy this aspect of the book.

    BUT…

    Like I said up at the top – this book suffers from first-time writer syndrome: a need to make sure the reader sees everything as the writer sees it. This results in things like how evenly spaced dishes are on the table, how a garden is situated and the style of leather on a chair and what metal the studs are around the edging. The author goes so far as to add in a map of the area like we’re going to fucking Middle Earth. It’s a university campus!

    This book insists too much upon itself, trying too hard to beat a reader over the head with exactly how things look, and focussing less on how they feel. It sacrifices pacing for the sake of description.

    Maybe you’re a reader gravitates towards that kind of writing, I am not. Paint a picture, but don’t fill in every nook and cranny. Let me use my imagination. Because the thing is, no matter how hard a writer tries to tell us things exactly as they see them, each reader is going to picture it a different way in the end. So stop trying so hard to insist everything looks a certain way, and give the reader more room to be fluid in their mind’s eye.

    If I tell you Spenser and Dalton are going to eat on the outdoor patio of a retirement home in Miami, and that it’s a retirement home for wealthy people, you are immediately going to have an idea of what that might look like. I can sacrifice the time it takes to explain where a patio is in relation to a garden, in relation to a lake, in relation to a tree and the main building etc, etc.

    Shit like this drives me crazy. And perhaps I could forgive this writing style if it weren’t for the fact that it didn’t seem like this novel knew what it wanted to be. A romance? A drama? A mystery? Academic research? A contemporary about male brotherhood? Contrary to popular opinion, books that try to be too many things usually suffer because of it.

    The author is coming at this novel from a personal perspective. He based the main character on himself, on his experience at Harvard, on his experience in a secret society. In the end, the main character even becomes a doctor, as the author is outside of writing fiction.

    But, instead of taking all of that knowledge and reimagining it into something fantastical, something thrilling and full of deep mystery that propels the story forward – what we get is kind of a self-masturbatory story that feels like it wants to be an autobiography but just with a little tweaking so the author can imagine himself as a hero. He’s joining a secret society, but also about falling in love, but also about solving this mystery, but also trying to be a basketball star, but also trying to be a doctor, but also getting into the boys club.

    There were too many things happening. Things that happened in huge chunks and took away from the flow of the storyline, because there wasn’t a main one. It was a full-on romance novel. It was a full-on contemporary about brotherhood. It was a drama. It was an intellectual mystery. It was a religious research paper. It was too much.

    The author even included whole pages of library references and news articles and different kinds of research information that as the reader, should be told to me in a clear and concise way instead of making me read it. I’m not here to do the research, I’m here to be told a story.

    For me, this novel suffers greatly from a lack of editing, and an overt desire to tell too many stories and not having a refined enough writer at the helm who knows how to stick to a theme, pull back on the other elements, while also weaving them together into something that is digestible, that doesn’t lose its steam and isn’t so goddamn wordy.

    Ugh, omg. So. Many. Unnecessary. Words.

    Pages and pages of basketball plays, of practices, of describing movements, describing scenes and events and places and personal histories of inconsequential characters, which added nothing to the overall story. It felt disjointed, lacking cohesion and a strong direction. It was also jumpy – going from an unnecessary scene back into the main mystery and I found myself wondering very often, why didn’t the plotting just continue with the mystery? What was the point of my attending a basketball practice?

    Nothing. There was no point. It’s just that the author couldn’t seem to help himself; couldn’t stop injecting everything about himself into this story. Again, I say self-masturbatory.

    It’s also disappointing that the author felt it was necessary to create characters that were overtly sexist and misogynistic. Sure it’s the 1980s and there’s a “boys club” element to it, but it is possible to write something like that without having naked girls ready to be used by the winning team of guys. Considering the author, and the main character, are PoC, you would think there would have been a more concerted effort to take those elements out of the story because they weren’t necessary. There are other rewards besides women that don’t seem to have a choice in being viewed as pieces of meat or trophies.

    Because the impression I get from the writing, and the author, is these things weren’t problematic then and aren’t problematic now. That these kinds of things are looked back on with great affection.“Just like old times”, as Spenser says.

    In the end, the payoff of the reveal to all the answers wasn’t interesting enough to make the time it took me to get there worth it. It also felt like a letdown. The perceived threats that float throughout the novel, is just that – nothing more than perceived.

    This book all talk, little action. It’s a lot of research reading, a lot of late night library runs that are interrupted by irrelevant scenes that don’t really belong and should have been cut out.

    It seems, overall, that it was clearly written by a male author for a male reader, but also that the author didn’t know exactly what kind of book he wanted it to be. That he was so concerned with getting the story out – a story that I understand he’s waiting years to write – that he didn’t have the heart (or the guts) to get rid of the things that didn’t belong in the plot, that dragged it down and made it a disjointed reading experience. This author was too wrapped up in the idea and less focused on the end product, and because of that this book suffers and makes the reader suffer with it through thousands of words that shouldn’t have been included.

    I would have liked this a million times better if it had focused on being a mystery. If it had found ways to make the threats more substantial and real towards Spenser and Dalton. And if someone had taken an axe to every unnecessary scene that was only included to allow the author to indulge himself and his latent sexism.

    But, like I’m on the blog tour for this so you should totally buy it, or whatever, if you feel like its definitely you’re kind of story. I am not the right audience for this kind of writing.

    2.5 stars, rounded down.

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