Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 120-125,000 words
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“After years of ghostwriting thrillers, conspiracy novels and mystery books, Gunnar Angel Lawrence has published his first thriller. He is a native Floridian with a love for writing thrillers, mysteries and action stories with fast pacing and a unique twist. He lives in Saint Cloud, Florida with his dogs and is currently single.”
For more, visit the author’s blog.
“A double homicide leads Detective Paul Friedman to discover the threat of an imminent terrorist attack on the city of Orlando, Florida. A young teen girl is found beheaded in the wreckage of what appears to be a freak accident. Friedman learns of The Perfect Day, a plot to strike terror into the hearts of Americans by a zealot known only as Ali the Sand Viper. Friedman must solve the murders and do what he can to prevent the unthinkable, a terrorist assault on the tourism capital of the world.
Reporter Jerome Eisman stumbles onto the plot of a local White Supremacist group to purchase a large quantity of explosives. His investigation takes a frantic turn when bombs begin claiming lives.”
The Perfect Day has multiple story threads with different point of view characters, and each contributes to the overall story. Two threads follow Paul Friedman, who I think would be considered the protagonist, and Ali the Sand Viper, the antagonist. Others follow Jerome, a reporter, Monica, an investigator who specializes in uncovering financial fraud, and Gary, a homeless former prisoner of war. Each of these is interwoven with the other and how they relate is obvious with the exception of Gary. I actually liked Gary’s story thread the most even though how it was going to relate to the overall story was unclear until near the end of the book when his story finally connects and set up a plot twist that I didn’t see coming.
I liked the overall plot and thought the author did a good job of character building, with most of the major characters being well rounded with unique personalities, motivations, and goals, all of which figure into the overall story. One exception might be Ali, who comes across as a bit of a cliché through much of the book with only hints of there being something more to him than the obvious until near the end.
However, I had three major issues with The Perfect Day. First are numerous issues with typos and grammar that weren’t caught in the copyediting and proofreading process. In addition to the typical things like typos and verb tense issues that snuck through, were clunky or repetitive sentences like this one:
“I would suggest that before you go off in search of a new client, that you sit down and have a little chat with Sheriff Wilson before you go.”
Or this sequence:
“Sounds good, thanks Nancy. Be honest with me, what am I looking at here, Nancy? Can they really get Jeffrey from me?” Nancy sighed.
In case it isn’t clear, he’s talking to Nancy.
Second was a tendency for the characters who are the apparent heroes of the story, specifically those involved in law enforcement, to have disrespect for the law as it applies to them. One minor example is this exchange earlier in the book where Friedman appears to be okay with vigilante justice. (If nothing else, he doesn’t object.)
“When you find him, please kill him, or let me do it. She was my best friend, and her mother was like my second mom.” Paul nodded, “I understand.” Angie left the room as Paul dialed the station.
Later in the book the chief of police murders (executes would be an even better description) a suspect he has in custody.
My last problem is the book has a definite political stance that I found both objectionable and not very credible. If you describe yourself as an extreme right wing conspiracy theorist, you’ll love this. If you think all Muslims should be assumed to be terrorists (that worked so well for us with those of Japanese ancestry in World War II) and that the media conspires to hide this “fact” from us, you’ll eat this up. For those like me who read this kind of thing and describe it as bull-pucky, it might not be for you.
Although this book appears to be the second in a series featuring detective Paul Friedman, it stands alone. There is no need to have read the previous book to understand what is going on in this one.
Numerous proofing and copyediting misses.
Rating: * One star