Today’s book is Walking the Pendulum, by HA Dawson.
Length: 393 pages
Released: February 28, 2017
Megan’s made a hasty escape. Now she’s perplexed by the confusion sparked by events on the train journey and her effect on the locals, whose disconcerting behaviour makes her skittish. She’s determined and headstrong yet vulnerable, unaware of the imminent danger posed by the scheme hatched by her mystery assailant.
Unfortunately lacking the ‘heart and soul’ promised on the cover.
The hits seem to come in pairs over here at Bookish Creature, because I had this same problem a few days ago. I really wanted to enjoy this book – the premise was intriguing and the writing was solid (if a bit wordy). But the characters…
They just didn’t act like people. The dialogue was stiff and unnatural, the conversations robotic – like this exchange between Megan and a woman she’s just met.
‘When I arrived in town, I had a premonition,’ she said cautiously. ‘I thought I saw my death.’
‘What exactly did you see?’
She pressed her arms to her middle and took a deep breath, steadying her voice. ‘A knife went into my stomach. I saw blood, lots of it.’
‘It was probably nothing…’ Megan continued, ‘an overactive imagination or stress. I keep telling myself the future hasn’t happened yet.’
She nodded uneasily. ‘You’re probably right.’
‘Having said that, I might do a bit of investigating to see if I can find out what caused it. It was very intense, very real.’
‘I’d be interested to know what you discover.’
‘Stop by my place sometime, I live near the market. 21 Rochester Street.’
She nodded. ‘I’ll do that, but I must go. Work calls.’
The actions were just as mystifying as the words. Megan’s decision-making process made no sense to me at times. After receiving a poorly-made flyer for a local art event, she follows its directions down the street, into the woods, up to a dilapidated old building – and only once she’s in the door and faced with an empty room does she stop and think, “Hey, this doesn’t look like an art event.” It felt like the author put more effort into the scenery than anything else. For example, I know that the town farmer’s market had exceptionally crisp cabbage at a competitive price, but I have no idea why Megan decided to keep trusting another character who had a live cat strung up by the back feet in their closet.
To sum it up, Walking the Pendulum has a lot of potential, but the leaps of logic and wooden cast were just too much for me to get through.