I was recently asked to read and review the novel entitled Findo's Mousetrap, written by Graham Paskett. Having read the majority of it, I feel that I am more than able to give a fair review of the overall story. The review you will find below comes from my own thoughts and opinions on the material, and is in, no way, influenced by any other entity.
Let me be up front and clear on the matter, this book was not my cup of tea. I had high hopes when I read the description on the back of the book. I was looking forward to a good mystery romance. What I got was a romance of a rather erotic fashion that I would compare to 50 Shades of Grey, even though I have never read said novel.
The prose is written in a style similar to that of the Hanoverian period, and can be compared to that of Downtown Abbey. Set in a more modern setting, however, it creates an interesting view of the world.
I will admit that I was intrigued by the notion of the Mousetrap, an invention that can look back in time. However, I think the author used this invention as more of a driving force for the relationship, when he could have used it more to solve true mysteries of the past. I really wanted to know more about this contraption and how it worked. I also wanted there to be a bit more mystery around it. As things stand, I think it was short-changed on that aspect, especially since the books title suggests that it has a more prominent role in the story than it does.
Let me be clear on that above statement, about the Mousetrap being the driving force. If it were not for the machine, the relationship would not have started. There is nothing wrong with this. But, outside of being that initial starting force, and a sort of common investment, without actually being more than something fun to play with, it doesn't get as much "screen time" as it should. That being said, is only my opinion on the matter.
I am aware that this novel has received numerous good reviews, and I am not saying it does not deserve them. The prose style is indeed quite excellent. I think, however, that there should have been less focus on the "hot and steamy", with less detail of certain acts, and more with the building of a true romance not based on physical attractions. That seemed to be the basis of the relationship, physical attraction and need for that physical touch. There is nothing wrong with this, so long as it is not the main driving force. The fact that there was the occasional throw in, more than halfway through the novel, of how the relationship is positively changing one of the main characters is a nice nod to how a good relationship is supposed to work. However, I could not appreciate the erotic sex scenes that gave way too much information for the general reader. I found reading such material very uncomfortable, and felt it was unnecessary to move the story along.
As an avid writer, and an editor, I did find many instances were my "grammar police" radar went off. Some of these choices were stylistic in nature. Some of them were in need of correction for smoothness of flow and consistencies. I also found it distracting that the only real way we knew that a new chapter had started was because there was a separation of space using the following marks ---------. There were no chapter headings.
As for change in scenes, one only had to guess because each paragraph was separated by a space between, leaving no clear notion of when a new "section" started. This caused some confusion on my part. When I thought I was still in some setting with the same characters, I was suddenly thrown into a different location, and sometimes a different time, without warning.
I can only recommend this to those who enjoy stories in that modern romance category befitting the same genre of 50 Shades, as previously mentioned. All others, I would suggest looking elsewhere. For the sake of rating, I give it three out of five stars, purely because of the grammatical issues mentioned.