Thursday, January 21, 2010

Review of Up in Honey’s Room by Elmore Leonard (William Morris, 2007)

Honey Deal is every red-blooded American man’s dream – a very attractive blond with a strong wit and a passion for bed. For some inexplicable reason at the start of the Second World War she marries Walter Schoen, born in Germany but raised in Detroit, who bears a striking resemblance to Heinrich Himmler. Walter thinks the Nazis are the future and is part of a spy ring sending data on US war production back to the Fatherland. After a year, Honey sees the error of her ways and leaves Walter, but as the war nears its end Deputy Marshall Carl Webster enters her life hoping that she can help him re-capture two Germany POWs that Walter’s spy ring are harbouring. There’s an immediate chemistry between Honey and Carl, but Carl is married and he’s a man of his word – he hopes.

I’ve read a number of Elmore Leonard books and enjoyed them, which is why Up in Honey’s Room skipped to the top of my to read pile. Unfortunately I found it a disappointing read. The characters are too clichéd and stereotypical, with little depth to them, and the story lacked a strong plotline, meandering around without purpose and credibility. Leonard specializes in kooky characters and a fun narrative, and the reader expects to give a bit of latitude to implausible action, but too many times I found myself thinking, ‘this makes no sense’. What partially saves the book is Leonard’s undoubted writing ability – his prose and ability to express dialogue. I’ll still pick up and read other Leonard offerings, but this one felt like it was weakly treading water.

2 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Rob -Thanks for your review. Like you, I like Leonard, but I hadn't read this one before. Wonder if I will now....

pattinase (abbott) said...

He can't write women. I gave it a try, too.