Review: Relative Strangers by Helen Treharne

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Publisher: Helen Treharne

Publishing Date: August 2014

ISBN: 9781502369437 

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.6/5

Publisher Description:  It’s no small surprise then when, Sophie, on a post relationship break-up, mini-break to Antwerp, she pursues a pair of thieves who steal her friend’s handbag. But this is only the start of her world being turned upside down. Ripped from the streets into a dark alley she is violently attacked, barely alive when quirky Irish bar worker, Michael Kelly, stumbles across the scene.

Review: Here is a writer that has a lot of talent but needs a good editor in order to limit the amount of dialogue, coupled with finite descriptions. I get that this is a UK thing where getting dragged through verbose renditions about your job, boyfriend, cats and internal ruminations about life in general are pretty standard fare. The length to which this is rendered overshadows a wonderful story line, and I suspect, an interesting character. Usually (who am I kidding, always) I give a novel a DNF with excessive dialogue, yet for some reason I couldn’t put it down. Sophie is interesting when she is revealed through the movement, which sadly, is sporadic. The few scenes where she has confrontations with vampires is really well done, then its back to cats, neighbors, giving a months notice at her job and where she lives and pining about Mickey.  While making a cheese sandwich for an upset neighbor and spying undies in her friends handbag may be interesting topics for octogenarians and perverts, it really holds no relevancy and undermines a good story line. 

So beneath all the dialogue and inconsequential crap lurks a really good story, interesting characters that need to expand in scope and good world building if not suffocated by dialogue. One of my notes while reading this is that it should be called “Bridget Jones, Vampire Slayer”. I had a good laugh when Sophie mentions the same thing.

I am going to go out on a limb here, in hopes that the movement picks up in the series and give this  4 stars, so don’t let me down, Treharne.

 

 

 

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One thought on “Review: Relative Strangers by Helen Treharne

  1. Thanks for the review. Feel free to get in touch If you’d like a review copy of the sequel, Death in the Family.

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