Saturday, 27 October 2007

‘Demon Eyes’ – L.H.Maynard & M.P.N.Sims (Leisure Fiction)

Have you ever read a book where you’re really not enjoying but you have a nagging feeling that it will get better? You keep reading, thinking it just has to get better, and before you know it you’re at the end of the book. It turns out that the nagging feeling wasn’t a nagging feeling at all, just a nasty part of your subconscious playing tricks on you again. ‘Demon Eyes’, for me, was one of those books. The blurb screamed potential and kept me reading to the end of a book that just didn’t deliver at all.
Emma Porter has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks of Keltner Industries and is now starting her new job as personal assistant to Alex Keltner (the Managing Director). Her first duty is to help out at a party he’s throwing on his estate over the weekend. It’s not just any old party though, sex with the house staff is top of the agenda and video cameras in the rooms record everything. And why does Emma’s former boss keep trying to tell her to leave before it’s too late? Before the weekend is out, Emma will discover the awful secret of the guests and their host and the real reason why she was invited…
I looked at the blurb on the back and thought, “sounds like just the sort of book I want to read for Halloween; spooky, chilling with the promise of much gore by the end of the book.” As I worked my way however, everything that the blurb promised seemed to be missing between the covers. The authors seemed to want to tell the reader everything that was happening instead of showing them hints and leaving them to fill in the gaps themselves. How are anyone supposed to be frightened when they know exactly what is going on and can tell exactly what is going to happen next? For a story about ‘sex vampires’; the bits about sex seemed strangely detached from the book itself, almost as if they were just there for effect rather than serving any actual purpose in the story itself. Emma’s lesbian relationship comes across as being mentioned early on just to keep certain types of people reading. Without spoiling it too much, the ending of ‘Demon Eyes’ hints that maybe not enough attention was paid to what that particular relationship would entail… Other relationships, between characters, are mentioned but never developed unless it’s to get other characters out of a tricky situation. Certain characters also exhibit certain abilities just in time to manoeuvre past sticky plot points, the whole thing just seems contrived.
‘Demon Eyes’ has the potential to be so much more than it ended up. Things are set up for it to possibly be the start of a series, maybe future books will see an improvement. Personally, I’m not sure if I would stick around to see if this happens.

Four out of Ten

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