Polar Bear Dawn by Lyle Nicholson (Review)

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A terrorist attack, stone cold killers, murders, blackmails and a polar bear! This book has it all!

Two bodies are found in an oil camp in Alaska’s High Arctic. Another two are found two thousand kilometres away in a tar pond in Canada’s Northern Oil Sands. Soon, the detectives working these cases are about to discover how all of it is connected. Now, they have to work together to find out not only the motive of these killings but also, the larger scheme of which these murders are part of. Theirs is a race against time as a delay can cause serious impact on the North American oil production. The book is a Science fiction thriller. It talks about a carefully calculated plan to not only shut down oil production but also to earn from this setback through various means.

Oh! Don’t worry! It’s not that I just told you a spoiler. I wouldn’t do that, guys! Actually, all this you’ll find in the first few pages of the book. Along with that, you’ll be introduced with almost 20 characters including the villains, murderers, masterminds of the plan etc. In short, all the suspense which could’ve been valuable for later chapters is exposed rapidly. The book features so many characters that I lost count (Callahan, Mueller, McAllen, Troy, Parsons, Cordele, Randall, Duncan, Margaret, Della, Byron and the list goes on). With all these people, there was an equal number of descriptions and background details which were quite exasperating (At one point, four characters were named simultaneously, meaning a 2-page report of height, hair, skin, marital status and attractiveness level). More often than not, I had to go back and find out about the person being mentioned. This book made me use the X-Ray feature of my Kindle (Super awesome, But I hope to god I never have to use it again!). Most of the book is written in a very strange way. It felt like the reader is already there where the book takes ages to reach. I was around 30% into it when I found myself taking long strides and skipping lines. One reason was the flow of the book, which was like a written infomercial. This also made me totally indifferent to the individual life of the characters. As a result, I found it a hard read. Also, the ending was a bit of a letdown.

I would say that It’s not all bad. The way how the author brought a Polar Bear into it is fascinating. I wish he would’ve built up on it a little more. The character of Bernadette Callahan is really amusing and amiable. The problem is that she really doesn’t seem like the lead as there are so many other characters. There were times when Callahan was out of the picture for so long I forgot this book was “Bernadette Callahan Mysteries – Book 1”.

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