Head Count

Head Count

by Russell Cruse
2.0 1

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Overview

Head Count by Russell Cruse

When fifteen- year-old Carly Elliot parts company with an Alp, David Benedict, the teacher in charge of the ski-party is suspended from his job pending charges of negligence and possibly even manslaughter. His only ally is journalist Rebecca Daley and even she's trying to connect him to two teenage suicides. Polizeikommissar Kurz thinks David may be a murderer, D.S. Sands thinks he's an idiot and the others down the nick reckon he's a paedophile but it won't be until he finds himself tied to a chair in a run-down church, an automatic pistol in his face and trying desperately, through broken teeth, to speak German with a Swiss accent that he'll begin to suspect he may be in over his head. Could things get any worse? Of course they can; this is David Benedict we're talking about.

Daley wants a story, Benedict wants his old life back; if either gets what they want, the other will be seriously disappointed. In the event, each of them is going to get a bloody sight more than they bargained for.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781446633649
Publisher: Lulu.com
Publication date: 12/08/2010
Pages: 308
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

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Head Count 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
BigAl70 More than 1 year ago
This is a good enough story with a mystery to solve and a plot complex enough to keep the reader guessing along with an intense ending. However, what could have been a decent read suffered due to some miscues in the execution. Relatively minor were some format and proofreading errors. A bigger problem was portions of the story that were misleading or contradicted what had come before. There were enough of these, many minor and one major, to kill a story full of potential. I'll give two examples, one minor plus the major one, in vague terms so the story won't be spoiled for those who want to decide on their own. The minor example involves some Swiss bank accounts. At a point in the story where several months went by without much happening, there was a section of narrative that talked about what little did happen over that period. One of the lines seemed to imply that the authorities looked at these accounts. "The Swiss banking system did its thing, and no-one knew what the accounts contained, nor even if they had ever been drawn on." Yet a plot point shortly after depends on knowledge of these accounts being limited to a few people, none of them anyone in authority. Re-reading the quoted sentence, it is vague and open to several interpretations, one of which is "nothing happened"; in retrospect, the correct interpretation. In the context of the paragraph where the sentence is found, telling what did happen over the time covered, this was misleading, at best. Not mentioning these bank accounts at all would be a better way to show nothing happening. The major example happens at a chapter end, just as the story starts rapidly building toward its climax. The narration again implies that something major will happen to one of the characters (what, I won't say). When I read it, I made a note asking, "Why is he telling us this is going to happen?" It struck me at the time as ham-handed foreshadowing. When what was implied didn't happen, at least not in this book, it felt like the narrator was lying to the reader. It occurred to me that the author might have been using what is called an "unreliable narrator," on purpose. If so, the reason for doing so in the context of this story totally escapes me. **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **