I was one of the first three people to respond to mswas’s email and win a free copy of Hallways in the Night. I’m interested to read the reviews of this book by the other two winners because I thought it was terrible.
The story itself was not…horrible. It’s primarily a legal “thriller” — an undercover police officer shoots a man in self defense and is put on trial for it. The man he shot was a big-time local baseball player and the city wants the cop’s blood. It’s obvious the author was going for a Grisham-y vibe. However, he wrecks it in the afterward when he admits changing legal procedures for the benefit of the dramatic tension in the novel. Blegh.
The problem is in the writing. Look, I can’t imagine what it takes to write a novel and get it published. It’s an amazing task. But the writing in this book is bad. The dialogue is stilted and unreal. There’s a lot of telling the reader instead of showing him. And the worst thing, the thing that made me bitch out loud to anyone within earshot every time I saw it, was the author’s unstoppable desire to randomly italicize everything. EVERYTHING! For no good reason! Random pieces of dialogue and narration would be highlighted through italics for no discernible reason. Usually once or twice a page. I cannot describe how incredibly irritating this was.
Oh, and the ending is bad. There’s a little twist that’s supposed to be an “a-ha!” moment that instead brought to mind feelings of “what the fuck?”. And he blatantly sets it up for a sequel. No thank you.
So I would not recommend this book. Not as a fun legal thriller, not as a study in race relations, not to anyone. It took me forever to read because I just didn’t want to pick it back up.
And while I still don’t understand why it was titled Hallways in the Night, I can tell you that I have had Strangers in the Night stuck in my head for the last week as I slogged through this thing.