January 5th, 2015  |  Published in Dark Tales, Reviews, Writer and Research


Writer in research

Why writers have to be readers. I was amazed by a comment made at a workshop I attended when a delegate said she didn’t read other authors’ works because she didn’t want to be influenced by them. Can you think of any other artist who can claim their work hasn’t been influenced by other artists?

Claustrophobia is a page turner. Pen pulls you into her world of deceit despite her contemptible attitude and behavior. The novel delivers as a psychological thriller despite Ryan’s clumsy manner of execution. The husband is too good to be true, while Pen’s characterization is not always convincing. Sometimes she seems much older than 32, other times her dialogue is consistent with teen talk. Claustrophobia displays evidence of solid writer research as Ryan mounts a scathing critique of the selfish, middle classes and tale of modern society.

Pen is fascinating because she raises a number of questions. Is she a psychopath or simply spoilt or stupid? Either way she lacks morality. I initially selected this read as the blurb suggested it was thematically similar to one of own titles, In Jeopardy, therefore, becoming part of my writer in research work. Regardless of the genre an author writes in, Claustrophobia offers essential insights into characterization (despite shortcomings), character development and plot complexity. Ryan’s foreshadowing is brilliant as it hints without giving away the punch line. She effectively conveys the sense of doom that awaits these characters, but leaves several equally unpleasant conclusions.

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