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by Simon Wood
Barclay, September 2002
309 pages
ISBN: 1931402302

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Josh Michaels is a man with a problem. He once did something illegal and is now being blackmailed because of it. As his world collapses around him, attempts are made on his life and the blackmail becomes worse. Can he keep his crime a secret, hold onto his marriage, get rid of the blackmailer and find out who is trying to kill him?

ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN is certainly an action-packed story and at times, the novel does read like a film script, making me wonder if Wood had a screenplay in mind whilst he wrote it. This means that there is a great deal of dialogue and often little description, adding a great deal of pace to the story, but occasionally it would be nice to have more detailed descriptions rather than stichomythic passages.

One thing that a reader find irritating is the continued references to the hired killer as "the professional". Even when he gives the character a false name, it is rarely employed, and whilst this is meant to create the idea of a mysterious, faceless killer for hire, after a time it becomes artificial and weakens the story more than employing his name would.

Despite these minor complaints, ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN is fast and an impressive first novel for Wood. With the help of some better editing to add some more flesh to the bones and to perhaps the tighten the story in general, Wood will move onto bigger and better things.

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Reviewed by Luke Croll, December 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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