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Book Review – Another Man, Another Chance, by John Locke

Rating on Amazon: three stars

When I learned John Locke was a bestselling indie author with over five million books sold, I had to read at one. I'm toying with self-publishing and find inspiration in success stories like his and others such as Mark Dawson, L J Ross, and Marie Force.

Locke races through the story with snappy dialogue, a streamlined cast of characters, and bare-bones settings. The foreword is an effective hook, leaving the reader with questions answered in the story's second half. By the end, Locke ties it all together with twists – satisfying if not surprising – delivered in the closing chapters.

While the ride is thrilling, the narrative lacks richness and texture. Psychic distance rarely ventures beyond PD 2 and 3. I wanted to get to know the protagonist but was only allowed glimpses of how she really thought and felt.

Scenes are set with skimpy descriptions. We know where we are because Locke names the city, the hotel, or the house, but little else. The whole story unfolds in a string of stale, lifeless places.

Toward the end, the author appeared more interested in signaling wokeness than driving the story forward, resulting in a mottled theme. Gay scenes and disparaging political affiliations are fine, as long as they serve the story. In this case, they didn't. What might have been a theme of “good things happen to those with a good heart” turns into “anything goes, and if you're lucky, things may work out, or not.”

On a more nit-picky level, chapter breaks are often contrived, starting on the next page with no change in POV or setting.

Overall, Another Man, Another Chance is brain candy. When the sugar high wears off, you're tempted to grab another book, explaining why he's sold so many.

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