Pack Saddles & Gunpowder by Susie Drougas ** A Review

PackSaddles.scanwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fiction                                       2 out of 5 quills
Pack Saddles & Gunpowder  ** A Review

This book has potential.  But it’s a trilogy…and unfortunately not in a good way. It is:  1) A mountain horse packing guide book.  2) A treatise about the ongoing struggle between the environmentalists and horsemen with regard to how the high country wilderness should be used and protected.  And finally: 3) an underdeveloped mystery. The story is not moved forward by the first two. It would have been much more interesting to weave the trails and lakes more into the story, almost as an after thought. There was a missed opportunity to write a chapter where the environmentalists and horsemen debate the issue with some scintillating dialogue.

More research should have been done with regard to crime scene investigation.  When the helicopter arrives to pick up the surviving victim and perps, a detective would have been on board. They would have insisted on interviewing everyone right away, even the young girl, traumatized or not. They would hardly have allowed Cassie to ‘ride off into the sunset’ just because she was an attorney in the city.  She was after all the one who shot one of the perps to death. The investigator would also have wanted to see the site of the shooting (a potential crime scene; lawyers kill too) and preserve all evidence until justifiable homicide or homicide was determined.  This would also have provided an interesting investigative/forensics chapter.

It barely affected me that the nice all-American family had been hunted and attacked.  A chapter with the family back at home with Mom, perhaps, getting ready for the hiking trip,would have helped invest the reader and, once again, was sadly missing.   This was true for me with most of the characters.  There was no ‘flesh’ on them.  Not much back story.  The chemistry between Cassie and Dusty was random.

This story was about 90% narrative (which is okay) and 10% dialogue.  Not my favorite type of fiction. When dialogue was attempted the formatting and misspelled words were distracting.

Drougas.9.DSC03787Drougas has a rich playground with which to tell her stories.  But, she needs to understand how to write dialogue, how to move the story forward at all times and understand a character’s point-of-view, which in the case of this book, was all over the place.

I myself ‘packed in’ to Spanish Camp back in the 60’s.  Click here to read about it.  I know what a wonderful back drop the primitive areas can be for a rousing, adventure packed story to take place in. Unfortunately this book missed the mark!
DON’T MISS BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   In April, a long awaited interview with Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House)

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