48 Hours: A City of London Thriller

A Book Review

48 Hours: A City of London Thriller by J. Jackson Bentley

Finally! Today I finished this book, having been reading it for the past two weeks. It does not usually take me quite as long to read 400 pages, only when I am no longer interested and don’t want to read anymore. My initial reaction is now one of relief. That this ordeal is over. That I do not need to be subjected to further unbelievable, highly unlikely claims.

On the kindle store two weeks ago I was searching for a new book to read. This is where I came across 48 hours. It had great reviews, with an average rating of 4 stars. I downloaded this book on the strength of the intriguing and interesting plot, which promised a good read. With it also being free, there was nothing to lose – or so I thought.

The sentence structures are very simplistic. Little is known of the characters, and so the reader does not become attached to them. One simply does not care about the outcome of their situation, whether they live or die. Nevertheless, I always finish a book once I’ve started it, so I pressed on. Albeit rather labouredly. Although J Jackson Bentley tries to enliven the plot with many (too many) twists and turns, his attempts are largely unsuccessful, with the story slowly meandering along. In truth, the vast majority of the book is quite predictable and the plot on the whole is fairly cliché. There were very few points in the book when I was genuinely surprised by the turn of events

A brief outline: Josh Hammond, a thirty-something, single, insurance-worker receives a text message from ‘Bob’ (whose true identity is initially unknown) informing him that he should send £250,000 to a specific bank account in less than 48 hours’ time, otherwise he will be killed. Consequently, he gets in contact with the police, raising the money in the meantime. Josh is then assigned a bodyguard, Dee, who ‘had him at hello’, and the two, quite predictably, marry –eventually. There was not even an opportunity for the reader to try to identity the blackmailer; puzzlingly his identity was established at such an early stage in the book, that he was still an unintroduced character, with no obvious connection. Seemingly the villain’s status in society, being a peer of the realm, puts an end to police enquiries again and again. And so the plot continues on unnecessarily for a long, long time.

Whilst at a fundamental, basic level, I believe that the book had a good idea, but one which was poorly executed, and ruined as a consequence, it is by no means a ‘thriller’. Although it does leave me with two burning questions. Firstly, why would the police allow a member of the public access to the investigation as well as entry to internal meetings? And secondly, how did this book get such good reviews?

I will not be reading the rest of the series, but feel free to check out the book, if you so wish. Perhaps it is just me?

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