Book – The Stonehenge Legacy
Author – Sam Christer
Year – 2011
Genre – Thriller
Pages – 481
After quite the fiction hiatus, I decided I would pick up this book, The Stonehenge Legacy. Billed – like approximately 25% of books released int he past ten years – as a Dan Brown style thriller, I looked forward to something a bit meaty, with some clever twists, and hopefully something interesting about the focus so boldly displayed on the front cover – Stonehenge.
However, what I received was a book that is similar to Dan Brown in that there is a clever bloke as the main character(ish) and some crime occurs. Everything else is so dully formulaic that I can barely be bothered to write about it. In summary, suicide, code left for archaeologist son, secret cult, kidnapped celebrity, some explosions, a car chase and a vague whiff that there is something cultural happening. Linking this together are some undeveloped characters, leaps of faith in terms of plot development and a nod at the end of the book that any facts in the book might not actually be facts, but instead are there to make the story interesting. Which is a bit of a failure, so may as well not have happened.
I am unfairly laying into this book now. It is not all dull, and diverts well enough. I have just saddened myself that 481 pages of my precious time has been filled with such middle of the road stuff. For all of the lampooning he receives, Dan Brown at least has the credit to his name that his books are very enjoyable – whether or not you think he is any good, there is a page turning appeal to what he writes. This just screams of writing a book so that you can put a comparison between yourself and Dan Brown on the back cover, without actually taking the time to develop what could have been a pretty intelligent idea. As a case in point of rushed the whole thing feels, I counted three typos in the book. Not grammatical errors (I didn’t count them, but I did notice plenty) or layout issues, but genuine jump out of the page typos that any basic proofreading should have spotted – in fact a spellchecker would have done the job. Instead, it comes across as a stick it on the shelf and people will just buy it effort – and one that has done partly what is intended as the Goodreads reviews appear to be split.
I am not going to give it an awful mark, because it doesn’t deserve that. It isn’t appalling in the way that some books I have read in the past few years are. It simply is something that really doesn’t deserve picking up, that is all.