Dup Departs: A Time to GoDup Departs: A Time to Go by Gavin Mills
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you like thrillers involving gangsters, guns, drugs, corruption and action this book is for you.

Author Gavin Mills is a name to look out for. His novel, Dup Departs, thrilled me no end after a rather slow first three or four chapters. It became pacier by the minute and the characters came alive leaving vivid impressions in my head.

The cast list was quite large but not overwhelming and kudos to Mr. Mills for juggling them all as the story pans out.

This was different for me: a novel set in South Africa, a country I have never been to. He is a native of that country and I am sure the settings were all authentic. The backdrop was an education for me as the author was not afraid to use some social comment in the telling of the story. At times political correctness was absent but it added some “fire and brimstone” to the backdrop and it was an aid to understanding the characters involved.

Ahh – back to the characters. I loved them all. Even the psychopath gangsters, not that they were lovable. They were realistic. There were scenes involving Ivan, the Polish gangster, that chilled me to the bone thanks to the quality of the writing.

I was easily able to identify with Dup, his dilemma and weaknesses. Louanne was another character I loved: a sexy “biker chick” with a heart of gold who knew all the seedy joints and undesirables in town. I hope she returns in a future work from the same author.

If you like thrillers involving gangsters, guns, drugs, corruption and action this book is for you.

In many ways this book warranted five stars but I have to deduct one because of two things. It seemed evident early in the book that the author over cooked his use of metaphor. Not only were they over done but some were not worthy of him. He is an excellent writer and has no need to resort to crude metaphors. As the tale progressed, the metaphors and writing in general became more polished. That brings me to my second “constructive gripe.” I urge the author to find a better editor. A good editor would undoubtedly have polished the early part of the book. In addition s/he would also have tidied up the odd spelling and punctuation mistakes. Hopefully, s/he would have also corrected the use of “council” instead of the proper form of “counsel” when referring to a lawyer.

These instances did not spoil the book at all. The author’s story-telling abilities conquered all minor flaws. Thoroughly recommended and I look forward to reading more of Mr. Mills’ work in future.

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