Surfing the Elysium Tide

My ongoing question as I read the new novel Elysium Tide was: Where are the flying pigs?

We all know there are no flying pigs in real life. Nor are there any pigs in this book. Given the suspension of disbelief required to enjoy this novel, I could have accepted flying pigs quite readily.

Though this is not James R. Hannibal’s first novel, I must admit I had never heard of him before. It looked like it would be a good beach read though, given the description.

The idea of a narcissistic, egocentric, workaholic London neurosurgeon being forced into attending a symposium in Hawaii to get him away for a while from the colleagues he has antagonized is plausible enough. It is what happens next that stretched my imagination beyond the breaking point.

Dr. Peter Chesterfield manages to insert himself into a murder investigation. What is more, he takes the lead.

Admittedly, being a detective is not rocket science, or even neurosurgery, but his involvement stretches my credibility past the breaking point. I’m sure they do things differently in Hawaii – but I doubt they allow civilians, especially foreigners, to meddle in ongoing investigations.

As I was reading I kept getting niggling little thoughts asking if what I was reading really made sense, or was the scenario too far-fetched for me to believe it. There seemed to be a lot of loose ends neatly tied up with a grand reveal – but even that didn’t seem quite real.

Mind you, that is only my opinion. Obviously someone liked this story enough to publish it. So maybe I’m nit-picking, which is why I won’t detail the particular nits, just in case you want to test the book yourself at the beach this summer.

What you will get is a fast-paced story, somewhat reminiscent of another James, James Patterson – who also moves his plots along quickly so you don’t take time to think about them. Patterson is the world’s top-selling novelist, and if it works for him it will probably work for Hannibal.

There’s a car chase or two, a mysterious accident, a drug dealer, a rancher, and cows. But no flying pigs. There’s a torpedo and gunfire and gang members. Lots of action to keep you busy. Just try not to think about whether it could really happen as described.

And there’s scenery. I’ve never been to Hawaii – but I want to visit the places described in Elysium Tide. You can sit with the book on one beach and imagine you are on a beach in Hawaii.

In Elysium Tide, James R. Hannibal has given us a story for those who don’t want to think about what they read. Unfortunately for him, that isn’t me.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.

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