Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Review: Picker by Chad Schimke

Hello everyone,

Time again for another book review. This is again, not a review of a work involved in the Global E-Book awards, more of those are still to come. This post in particular is a review of author Chad Schimke's Picker.

Picker is somewhat of a crime thriller. I look at it as more of a crime drama, but that's probably just splitting hairs on my part. The setting is New Mexico and follows Fernando, a young man who has just inherited the role of crime boss from his father via his mother, who somewhat held it all together until he was of age to take on the responsibility. Fernando is in a position in which he can't escape, despite his desire and effort to be someone normal.

As for my take on this novel, I thought it was ok overall. There were some things I really enjoyed about the book, and it was mostly Schimke's descriptions of the New Mexico area, as well as when he touched on Native American life of tribes indigenous to the area. I found that Schimke has a knack for the historical aspect of fiction, which was refreshing for me, as I was pretty well parched out from many of the other books I have been reading recently. Schimke has a lot of potential as a writer.

Having said that now brings me to the not so good aspects of Picker. The story jumped around a lot, going from historical Native American settings, to Fernando's father's past, and to Fernando's present itself. There was a theme going on, and I could pick up on it, but it was very convoluted. There were so many things that Schimke could have done in his writing to explore the relationships and contrasts further. If he had done this, I would have been a much bigger fan of the story. Instead, what I read was something that felt way too short and needed so much more. Despite the strength of his settings, backgrounds, and writing style in general, it had too many gaps in the story and not enough ties. I can appreciate an author's attempt to not become lengthy and long winded, but in my opinion, a great author recognizes that it's the story itself that needs to be told, and that will dictate how lengthy it needs to be. My gut feeling is that Schimke wasn't quite there yet in this novel.

I do believe that Schimke has a high upside if he continues to write, so I hope he does. As for Picker itself, I am only giving this book 3 stars. It was ok. I hope he lives up to his potential in future books, and I plan to check in on one and find out for myself someday.

Until next time,

R. M.

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