17 February 2013

Review: THE PRICE OF FAME, R. C. Daniells

  • Format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 630 KB
  • Print Length: 521 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Clan Destine Press (August 26, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0092II5YO
Synopsis (Author's site)

Sex, drugs and rock music: the demons of youth – until fame demands its price

Documentary maker Antonia Carlyle uncovers dark secrets when she researches the cult ’80s band, The Tough Romantics, and its doomed singer Genevieve James. The iconic band’s rise to international fame had as much to do with their cutting edge sound as their history of tragedy, betrayal and murder.

The deeper Antonia digs, the stranger the circumstances surrounding Genevieve’s death seem. Was the wrong man charged with murder? Do the surviving band members know more than they’ve revealed? How far will they go to hide the truth?

Antonia must face her own demons and those that haunt the St Kilda terraced house where the band tore itself apart decades before. As the past spills into the present, Antonia’s growing psychic link with the dead girl feeds her obsession to find the truth.

But will it be enough to lay Genevieve’s ghost to rest?.

My Take

THE PRICE OF FAME primarily uses two voices to tell the story: documentary film maker Antonia Carlyle who is living in the house in St.Kilda where The Tough Romantics, 80s punk band lived for a few months in the 1980s and where Genevieve James was killed; and a voice from the past, a manuscript transcribed by "missing witness" Joe Walenski from tapes he recorded of an account given by the cab driver in whose arms Genevieve actually died.

Walenski is revising the manuscript before handing it over chapter by chapter to Antonia. This has the effect of dragging Genevieve's story out as well as giving the author time to develop the paranormal aspects to the story.

This is a debut paranormal crime novel by Australian author Rowena Cory Daniells. The story is firmly set in St. Kilda, a Melbourne beachside suburb, but for me there wasn't much Australian about the context, despite the constant reminders of the suburb's name. It gives a seamier picture of the suburb with prostitutes and rent boys, drug selling and a gang underbelly.

Suggestions of paranormal aspects to the story begins with the house hosting a poltergeist, with perhaps the spirit of the dead Genevieve James crying out to be heard, but more supernatural elements are added in during the latter half. Add into that Antonia's own backstory, with an ex-husband out for revenge. And then individuals from the band re-surface, all wanting to control what Antonia's documentary, by now to be a film about Genevieve's murder, will reveal.

For me there were too many of these threads, too many red herrings, with the author struggling to bring it all together by the end. The result was an extra long novel, with the length detracting from the quality of the story.

My rating: 3.9

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1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Thanks as ever for the review. I'm honestly not much of a one for the paranormal in a novel unless it is very well-done. I know what you mean too about length. Think I'll wait on this...

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