Call me Drog
by Sue Cowing (Author)
Right or wrong, I generally don’t read the blurb on a book before reading the text. I like to come to a new book uninformed so that every bit of the story is a surprise. So, when I began reading this first novel by Cowing, I thought I was in for a really sinister treat.
The opening chapters set an eerie scene, hinting at edge-of-the-seat entertainment. But, as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that this is a story of a boy struggling to come to terms with his parents’ separation, and the fear, anger and frustration that come with that scenario. Somehow, the mood set by those opening chapters faded, and the atmosphere lost its edge.
There are a number of strands running through the story, all running parallel to each other, each one worked through excellently. The sub-plots are relevant and help to develop the main character and his family and friends, but unfortunately they just didn’t work as a cohesive unit. It was difficult to go from one story to the other without having to re-adjust slightly and this jarred; it was too busy. Although there is some resolution when the story ends, the focus is nonetheless fractured.
As a first novel it shows great storytelling skill. The writing is fluent, the characterisation flawless and the story line engaging, but perhaps in this case, less would have been more.
This review was published online in