Trade by Tareq Hassan is a book that I picked up as part of an indie reviewers circle. It’s cover and blurb had me totaly suckered into checking the book out. I generally love myself a good spy book, especially if there’s some action in there as well as investigation sort of stuff.
Unfortunately that was pretty much where my love ended. Now don’t get me wrong for a foreign writer the English was pretty darn good. There was the odd word or two that seemed odd but for the most part the book was written in as good an English as I manage.
The problem was in all the jargon and dialogue the characters used. I just couldn’t understand the conversations and what half the characters were saying and therefore who worked for who and what they thought of everyone else. I also couldn’t at all work out what some of the characters had to do with the plot, or even what the plot seemed to be, except something to do with 9/11, a legal firm, drugs and muslims that might become terrorists.
I got so frustrated that I put the book down for a few days about 25% of the way in and tried to come back to it later. I then managed to get about 40% of the way in before getting more confused and putting it down again. When I gave it it’s third try I only got to 42% before I just really couldn’t go any further.
The final straw for me was a scene where one of the characters who was introduced earlier called Danny (I think it said he was from MI but I can’t remember and I think it should have been MI5 or MI6 rather than MI) showed up at 10 Downing Street and just walked in to talk to the Prime Minister. I thought just walking in was a bit odd but didn’t think too much of it until the conversation between PM and Danny started. The PM spoke like an American and a very crude one at that. I’m sorry but I just couldn’t imagine Gordon Brown or David Cameron talking like that.
I know the PM is much more polite when he’s in front of the cameras but they still speak very differently to the standard yank. They most definitely don’t say ass for one. I’m fairly sure it’s arse.
As a result I have my first ever did not finish. I’m sorry I just really can’t believe this book anymore.