Gaddy is an interpol agent on the tail of a mysterious man, The Finder, a person who seems to have unlimited resources and an almost miraculous skill for finding lost and valuable things, like Faberge eggs or the glasses Buddy Holly was wearing in the plane crash that killed him. Thrown into the mix is a travel writer and a chase that goes across the globe.
While I loved the premise of this book, I found it so hard to get into. The author has a background in travel writing, which means that he really slows down to create a sense of place and describe things that don’t really matter to the story. It makes for a slow read. (There’s also a character in this book who is a travel writer too, and the scene when he was introduced was nauseatingly self referential)
I could tell that a lot of the dialogue was meant to be funny, the author has won awards for comedy writing, but this fell flat. People don’t talk or act in cliches and stereotypes, like they do in this book, and the humour felt like Dad jokes. I was cringing sometimes! Speaking of cliches, the agent who knows her quarry has faked his own death but no one will believe them… So cliche. I don’t mind tropes in action thriller books, but they have to be done well or they seem lame and tired. A scene where Gaddy acts up in a meeting, acting obsessed with The Finder, it could be lifted from so many bad movies and books. People who are successful at their jobs, as she has to have been to have the job she has, know how to behave in meetings and know when they’re being emotional. It’s silly. And the scene I’m referring to goes on for pages!
I think I was hoping for something more original and tighter, like Le Carre. But we get something more cliche and tired. And if I wanted that, I’d read the Bourne books. Or Dan Brown. At least those are fast paced and cheesey in a fun way. They’re entertaining. There is some good stuff here and I do think there’s an interesting premise and character in The Finder, but it just feels a bit pretentious, un-funny and slow. I think this book just wasn’t for me, but I will say, if you’ve enjoyed Will Ferguson’s other books, you’ll probably like this one.
Thank you Simon and Schuster for this advanced copy for review, as you can tell, all opinions are my own honest thoughts.
The Finder is out September 1.