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May 18, 2022


#CF Chris Hammer

by N@ncy



Silver (Martin Scarsden, #2) by Chris Hammer by Chris Hammer Chris Hammer

Finish date: 15 May 2022
Genre: Crime fiction
Rating: D-

Bad news: Biggest problem: The storyline is TOO complicated! I just could not wrap my head around all the subplots. Unless you’re a master writer, you shouldn’t use more than 2 subplots to your main one! You have 1 dead man…a bloody knife and a narrator that finds the body! Unfortunately Chris Hammer managed to muddy the waters with deaths in narrator’s childhood, alludes to death in previous book…multiple deaths on a beach including a swami! Oh, and don’t forget the dead sharks! It was just TOO much. Bah.

Bad news: Memories: There are traumatic memories that keep popping up in the narrative of the main character Martin (journalist). I found that it jolted the reader out of the plot about the current murder. I was asked to switch my concentration back and forth too often.

Bad news: Family life: I get it that a journalist/detective has a private life and it is an integral part of the CF novel these days…but Martin’s toddler Liam is mentioned 178x! Less is more!

Good news: Title: The title is the first hook: SILVER… what is it? This intrigues the reader. Silver = the dream, the wealth  which tempts, corrupts and destroys people (greed?) Port Silver = setting; Silver = vein of expensive metal (pg 354); Silver = thin thread of a necklace once worn by Martin’s partner (pg 326) Silver = 30 pieces of silver (betrayal?) (pg 409) Location: Port Silver is on the far north coast of New South Wales near Byron Bay and, in Martin’s eyes, is becoming gentrified.

Personal: In all honesty…this 2nd book in the series #2 Martin Scarsden (journalist) pales in comparison to Scrublands. After 15 chapters (50%) I started to loose interest. The plot contains a murder but I felt the “chessboard” of moving pieces of real estate subplot (block a golf course and marina, close a cheese factory, block a housing subdivision and save a pristine beach)…just pushed me out of the story. Mr Hammer has not found the the perfect balance of telling readers just enough for the story to make sense and come to life, without sharing so much.
I felt the book was too long and I #WastedTwoDays trying to make sense of this book.



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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. tracybham
    May 18 2022

    I know nothing about the author or the book, but I had heard that Scrublands was good, so it is a shame that the second book did not measure up.

    Earlier this month I spent many more than 2 days trying to understand a book I was reading, but fortunately the time was not wasted.


    • May 19 2022

      Tracy, I just posted on your blog…so I’ll just say I was disappointed by Mr Hammer so much b/c Scrublands was such a joy to read. Jane Harper is another Australian CF writer. I read her first blockbuster…and am still hesitant to read her following books just for the same reason: fear of disappointment!


  2. May 18 2022

    Mr Books felt the same Nancy. Book two did not live up to his enjoyment of book one at all. From memory, I think he said that book three was better again, but he’s out tonight so I cannot double check with him 🙂


    • May 19 2022

      I’m not an avid CF reader so if I do spend my reading time with this genre…I want to be WOW-ed. The ONLY writer who has done that in the CF world is Pierre Lemaitre (all CF books in English available) I devoured his series about inspector Camille Verhoeven:

      Irene – Travail soigné
      Alex – Alex
      Camille – Sacrifices
      Rosy – Rosy & John

      …absolutely riveting!

      Good reading tip for “ParisInJuly” !

      Liked by 1 person

  3. May 18 2022

    Thanks for the honest review. I did enjoy scrublands when it came out. I’ll wait until I see a copy in my local library and let you know if I agree or not.


    • May 19 2022

      Thanks for your comment….I would make a terrible book reviewer b/c at times I am brutally honest. That is the joy of having a book blog in which I can just “say it as I see it” !
      If you look at my previous replies to Tracy and Brona…you can see what books in CF world that have really impressed me.



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