Nothing to Hide: A Mixed Review

Nothing to Hide is a well written book. The action is compelling and the tension ebbs and flows in the way that makes you want to keep reading. That being said I had a really hard time getting through this book. I’ve never been someone to categorize fiction based on the gender of the author but this book felt very male to me. It was written a bit like an action movie. Lots of things happening but I didn’t feel like I had nearly enough information about the people it was happening to. The dialogue was mostly between male characters and while they spoke very much like most men do, it wasn’t enough for this reader. Dialogue is a major opportunity to learn about characters but in this case the dialogue was very typically male in that it was utilitarian. I’m used to more nuanced characters with rich back story that is slowly revealed through dialogue and character development.

I realize that Roland March is a recurring character in J. Mark Bertrand’s books, but I had the constant feeling that I was missing important information because I hadn’t read any of his previous work. I also found the amount of violence and the gruesome descriptions of it to be shocking, both in a good and a bad way. I wasn’t a fan of the descriptions but they were well written and compelling. In some ways I was pleased to see this in a book labeled Christian fiction. While it may offend some readers, as a Christian author myself I’ve almost feared that publishing under a Christian fiction label would require me to completely sanitize my books, thus losing authenticity. This is a well written book. It just didn’t appeal much to me. Maybe I have more girly taste in books than I realized.

I was not compensated for this review but I did receive a free copy of the book to review.

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