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Harm None: A Rowan Gant Investigation

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted May 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres. It takes the fantast

    Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres. It takes the fantastic elements of high fantasy and combines it with the gritty “real world” we’re familiar with. And the promise of stories filled with magic, murder and investigation always seems exciting and interesting. Unfortunately, M.R. Sellars’ Harm None: A Rowan Gant Investigation is neither of these things. The story is predictable, the characters never fully develop and the book never really grabs the reader’s attention.

    Rowan Gant is a freelance computer consultant and practicing witch. When his longtime friend and St. Louis police detective Ben Storm uncovers a pentacle drawn in blood on the wall at a crime scene, Gant is tapped for his insight into the Wiccan religion. After seeing that he knows the victim, Gant becomes even more determined to catch the killer.

    After this, Harm None goes through the predictable motions of a non-thrilling thriller with obvious twists, turns and big red herrings. The action never takes off, the characters don’t feel original and the reader feels no connection to anything. It’s all been done before: Ben is the cop who ignores all the rules to let his friend – who has no investigative experience – help with a serial murder case. We have the cops that believe Rowan is a fraud and tease him like high school jocks would tease a 98-pound mathlete. There’s even an FBI agent who ignores the evidence, takes over the investigation, and forces Rowan and Ben to work outside the law.

    The various grammatical errors make Harm None a chore to read, as well. Sellars tries to cover up these errors – and some narrative ones, too – with an author’s note stating the book is written as seen through Rowan’s eyes and aren’t perfect because Rowan is just human. This is a weak excuse; if this was truly the author’s intention, it was a mistake his editors and agent should have talked him out of as fast as they could.

    Harm None is a cold, dead fish that flops weakly on the bookshelf. The overall premise had some promise but the book fails to fulfill it. If anything, it can serve as a learning experience for the author, who will hopefully stretch his creative muscles more and remove the grammar mistakes next time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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