Review by CJ
When bestselling author Ian Ludlow was approached by the CIA to pre-empt potential terrorist attacks, he had no idea that his ideas would be used by his own countrymen. Now he has gone from book tour to a fight for survival with only his wit and thriller research to keep him alive.
True Fiction is a fun ride through a few days in the life of a writer whose world is turned upside down. It reminded me often of the television show Castle in terms of Ludlow’s ability to use his fiction writing skills to fix real world problems.
The main character, Ian, is a decent enough character but not particularly memorable. His author escort turned partner on the run, Margo, was more likeable but also didn’t stand out particularly. My personal favourite, doomsday prepper Ronnie, didn’t really feature until much later in the book but had more than enough personality to make up for Ian and Margo.
One of the things that bothered me in True Fiction was frequent over-sexualisation of people, usually women, with no purpose or significance. I’m not offended by such things, but they should have a purpose if they are going to be brought up so often. Why bring up that a main character’s last Amazon purchase was a vibrator when it doesn’t say anything about the character or have any relevance to the story? The same with several references to another female character’s proclivity towards S&M. These sorts of breadcrumbs into a character’s personality are fine if they bring anything to the story, but most of the time they just felt forced into True Fiction to be gritty or sexy or even satirical of the spy genre and were very distracting from the plot.
Overall, True Fiction has an interesting story that moves at a good pace. If you can overlook some clumsy writing in regards to over-mentioned unmentionables and one-dimensional characters, it’s a quick read that touches on most of the formulaic ingredients for a good thriller.