The premise of this book is a man who becomes privy to information that could have stopped a terrorist attack, but he falls under the suspicion of being part of the plot.
Mary McDonald does an excellent job of hooking the reader from the very beginning. The first 2/3s of this book was a real page turner. She does an excellent job of building believability in a speculative type plot that would have normally been hard to accept. The characters in the story have a hard time accepting the facts, but the reader pushes all reason aside and gets sucked into the story and wants to shake sense into the other skeptical characters.
She does a great job of developing the characters, creating empathy, and keeping the tension going throughout the book. As a reader, you will feel the character’s emotions and struggles. Excellent writing and delivery of the payload of the story.
Language. I’ve seen worse language, so I would rate this book on the middle of the scale. If you can take a certain amount of profanity, you might take on this book. I have read some books that completely ruined a story with excessive profanity. This book hit the borderline of my tolerance. Anymore, and I would have tossed it.
Sex. There was one sex scene about 2/3s the way through this book. Fortunately, she passed over the gory details once they made it to the physical act, but it was still more than necessary. Perhaps I’m just a fuddy ol’ coot, but in my opinion, sex derails a book. People who like sex scenes pick up sleazy romance novels and erotica. Readers of those genres expect sleaze, and even desire it. People like me, who don’t have any desire for sexual novels, don’t appreciate the thrill of sex in a novel. The story is chugging along, tension is building, pages are turning as the reader digs for answers raised by the plot, and then, out of the blue, two people are wallowing in fits of passion. What happened to the story? Oh, I have to wade through the sewage until I pick up on the trail again. It doesn’t add to the story. Romantic tension does well, even in non-romance novels, but when I’m forced into becoming a peeping-Tom, I lose focus on the story at hand. Personally, I don’t see the point. If it turns the focus away from the storyline, it shouldn’t be there.
Sagging Middle. At one point in the story, the plot crept along at a slow enough pace where I looked to see how many pages were left before the end. This was about 2/3 the way through. After wading through about 25 pages of setting up the climax, the story took off again and at a rapid pace.
Typos. This book has a number of typos throughout the story. Usually, these are in the form of a missing word, missing spaces between sentences, or the wrong form of a word. They are few enough so it wasn’t a complete distraction, but each one did cause me to stop for a moment to decipher what was being said.
I feel a little sheepish about spending most of this review dwelling on the negative. But that’s the nature of critiquing. It takes more time to explain what is lacking (completely a personal opinion) than it does to say what is right. Overall, No Good Deed is a well written story. Mary McDonald is an excellent storyteller, and makes the story come alive. I expect to see her name rising up through the ranks as more people discover her work.
On the Word Turnings scale of 10,
Readability and reader interest – 9 (If not for the sagging middle, I would have made this a 10)
Content – 6
Family Friendly – 4
Plot or Book Theme – 8
Overall Word Turning Value: 6.8