Sunday, October 25, 2015

Collector Of Secrets

 conspiracies, historical fiction, Japanese

Star emoticon

A riveting debut thriller with the twists and turns of “North by Northwest” and The Firm about an American in Japan who comes upon a mysterious decades-old diary, and ends up caught in a web of global espionage he cannot possibly fathom.
Max Travers is an English teacher in Japan. When his manipulative boss begins swindling the unsuspecting parents of his students, Max must retrieve his passport to return home. Max sneaks into her office only to stumble upon a burglary-in-progress. Max barely escapes, but accidentally takes a strange diary bound in leather and embossed with a strange seal. Little does Max know that this diary has been hidden for over half a century, and its secrets could topple some of Japan’s most powerful people and rewrite the history of the royal family.
Max soon finds himself on the run from everyone from tattooed Yakuza to the Japanese police and a mysterious American who has ties in the highest places, all willing to kill for the diary’s secrets. With his and girlfriend's lives in the balance, Max must decipher the diary's secrets in a richly detailed and ambitious thriller that covers everything from World War II to Watergate.
A lot of new authors think they could write a good story and they get encouragement from and get published by Amazon. Unfortunately, IMHO, only a few were good and worth reading. I have nothing against wannabe authors. In fact three of my top 10 favorite novels were debut novels: The Name Of The Rose by Umberto Eco, The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt published in 2000, and The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker published in 2013.

Collector Of Secrets, however, just like the others I rated very low or no stars, suffers from the syndrome called "allergy to professional editor". This book is one of the worst I have read this year. 

I should have stopped reading right at the first page because I had a gut feeling it might be about that darn Yamashita's treasure yet again! And it is. &*@^!!! Still, I wanted to know what it's all about and hoped it will be better than the awful The Dragon's Triangle. The author lifted the conspiracy theory nonsense from the same book the author of The Dragon's Triangle lifted her characters and story from. What the heck is wrong with these so-called "authors"? *sigh*


Why I rated it 1 star
  • The author made the mistake of putting so many conflicts all at once. Everything but the kitchen sink was piled on to the book, it became tiring to read. 
  • The numerous characters and their stories are stereotypical and cartoonish. The main character's girlfriend is astonishingly moronic, yet the author thinks he wrote a smart and loving character. The Yakuza could have been eliminated and just replaced with ordinary thugs. 
  • It seems all American (except John Kennedy) and Japanese politicians, the police, and ordinary citizens are greedy, corrupt, and criminal. 
  • The most egregious and face-palm inducing conspiracy theory is the Kennedy assassination tied to the contents of the diary.
  • All the scenarios are contrived. 
  • The novel is neither riveting nor a thriller.
  • It's obvious the writer is an amateur.  
I do not recommend the book.

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