Author – Paula Mann
Genre – Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
400 Amazon Pages
Rating 3 stars out of 5 Posted 4/5/2017
17 - 2017
My Impressions: weird, coming of age, each character except two are worse than the last one.
Stephan Mills – age 18, immature social misfit, burglar,
Jonathan Mills – step-father.
Julia Mills – mother.
Roger Mills – step-brother, favorite son, kooky, vicious, white collar criminal.
Ramona - Stephan’s girlfriend.
Sasha Ikanov – A major white collar thief, Roger’s mentor.
Joseph Smith – Stephan’s mentor in prison.
The plot of A Tale of a Rough Diamond set an ambitious goal of dealing with the extreme emotions of a dysfunctional family. The genres are listed as Mystery, Suspense and Thriller but I see a coming of age tale for the young main character. I don’t know how the rest of it would be categorized. There is some criminal activity involved but it is a minor catalyst compared to the confrontations taking place within the bizarre Mills family.
Parts of this story are weird; I almost stopped reading it when Stephan stood naked in front of a mirror kissing his image while masturbating. Then this self-love scene was repeated. As weird and tacky as that was it fit his overall character. My impression of him was of a weak and whiney wimp who hasn’t matured. When he adopted an older cell mate, Joseph Smith, and began calling him Daddy it drove home what a needy, emotional wreck the main character was.
All of the Mills’ family characters are emotional freaks for varying reasons. I couldn’t relate to any of them.
At age 18, Stephan was caught burglarizing a home and put in prison. Later, we learned he was set up by his older brother who hated him from birth and set out to destroy his life.
There were far too many extreme changes in personality to be believable.
The writing style is wordy, pretentious and stiff. An example: he introduced himself into apartments: instead of saying, he broke into apartments to steal. Who in the world speaks that way?
The first chapter is from Stephan’s point of view; the second chapter shows Roger’s point of view. The transition between the two chapters left me wondering what was going on when the previously covered issues were again addressed until I figured out the story was being told again from a different P.O.V.
Stephan’s father, Jonathan, set the plot in motion when he convinced Julia to keep the baby conceived in her rape. When the baby was born, it reminded her daily of her rape and she rejected any involvement with the child. Jonathan is the head of a successful company but was constantly manipulated by Julia and Roger. When Stephan was sent to prison Roger convinced Jonathan to eject him from any ties to the family because of the shame it would bring to their family name. This doesn’t sound like a competent executive used to making tough decisions.
The editing and sentence structure are good but not perfect.
This review was provided in exchange for a free book.
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