Monday, October 2, 2017

Simone Kelly’s Like a Fly on a Wall: A Book Review

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Simone Kelly’s Like a Fly on a Wall inspires a mixed set of thoughts. On one hand: this book is fun, the pages turn quickly, and while pumped full of adult themes and some steamy scenes, it has merit. Jacques, the central figure, is an attractive psychic of mixed race (French and Moroccan descent). His point of view is often series, and despite for some elongated sexual escapades that were given more page time than needed, his plotline tends to stay grounded. The reader learns about his family, his visions, his rough relationship with his mother and the untimely death of his father. These revelations build the character and send him between New York and Miami to investigate the circumstances behind the death of his father as well as his abilities. And in a way, this plotline is the only one resolved in the text.

Yet outside of Jacques, the author presents the reader with a litany of flat characters that serve more as plot devices than anything else. Kylie, who is by far the most developed of this group, ends up as a trail of loose ends. One man drops into her life and devastates it, yet Kelly never fully resolves the story or gives the reader a final direction. In another angle, Kylie dates an online love, but the final direction of the relationship is left open despite a multiple chapter focus earlier in the text. Kylie’s mother, True, suffers the same fate as do her bosses, men she stumbled on to in a mysterious Miami blackout.

While some of these plot need no resolution, the text itself suffers when a central figure like Jacques’ girlfriend Vicki vanishes without much more than passing glance for chapters on end only to play a pivotal plot role later on. Yes, Kelly entertains the reader with an interesting premise, but she fails to go far enough to fully captivate and entertain the reader on a full level.

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