Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Updated Book Review: "Immoral Behavior" (Alex Fielding)

Vincent Reid is a young man trapped in the sex industry. The woman who keeps him imprisoned in her empire is Kathryn Miller, powerful and dangerous and as ruthless as a serial killer. If not for a critical videotape Kathryn holds over Vincent's head as blackmail, accusing him of attempting to kill her, he'd have escaped her hold long ago.

Now, though, he has more motivation than ever to free himself: he's fallen in love with a girl innocent of his trade and relationship to Kathryn, a girl whom Kathryn assumes Vincent is going to use to further her standing in the sex industry. Vincent just wants the girl safely out of Kathryn's clutches, but Kathryn's reach may turn out to be longer than he ever imagined.

Immoral Behavior, by author Alex Fielding, is what I would classify as an erotic thriller, liberally speckled with sex scenes (as perhaps is befitting, considering Vincent's line of work). It also happens to be based on reality, and on the author's own life experience, to a degree.

In the positive, Vincent is an intriguing character, genuinely motivated to do what's best for the girl he loves, even at the expense of his own safety. Chantelle, the woman with whom he falls in love, is similarly well-rounded, torn between hope that Vincent is trustworthy and fear that he's hiding something from her. Kathryn's character is never in question either --- she's as determinedly cruel, demanding, immovable, and unreasonable as any villain.

The plot escalates naturally, organically, without complicated flashbacks and switches from one point along the story line continuum to another. Further, when respective scenes and chapters are written from different characters' perspectives, the voices are distinct and individualized, which is difficult to achieve with a complex story line.

On the other hand, some of the dialogue reads as unnatural (and therefore unbelievable). Kathryn, while certainly villainous enough, is perhaps too villainous to some extent; there are very few chinks to show her humanity, and therefore few reasons for the reader to see her as anything other than a stage villain, all evil intentions and diabolical laughter.

Finally, the novel contains a number of typos, errors in punctuation and grammar, and inconsistencies, with the occasional instance of head-hopping. I found myself yanked out of the story with each error I come across, perhaps because I'm more a detail-oriented person and less a big-picture person, but I suspect I'm not the only reader with that perspective.

The novel holds a great deal of potential in its plot line and themes (which include loss, trust, relationships, betrayal, secrets, and whether or not people can really change). With a further close edit and proofread, a future edition would be even more approachable.

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Author: Alex Fielding
Title: Immoral Behavior
ISBN: 978-1500-445423
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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