Redwood, by A. Rod Womack is one of those books that you keep putting off because reading it puts you off! An exaggeratedly glorified back cover summary leads you to believe the book is a thriller. But it’s just a bunch of threads (that are sometimes not related to the main story or even to each other) that you feel the narrator uses to grasp and swing forward into the story, like Tarzan and his hanging branches. Ok – that’s a terrible metaphor, but I hope you get the point.
I admit the summary on the back cover is what caught my interest in the first place, because I love thrillers and suspense novels. The misleading summary is as below:
Redwood is a gripping true story of a once successful and popular Baltimore restaurant known for its great cuisine, vivacious musical entertainment, radiant atmosphere and memorable A-List celebrity events. From the beginning, the three young entrepreneurs worked tirelessly to make this restaurant the pinnacle dining experience. The story takes many twists and turns, leading them through a maze of challenges along the way. However, the conflict intensifies when the young men later discover the unthinkable—that all along a serial killer was in their midst. The journey is riveted with humor, intrigue, mystery, conflict, sex, drama and many takeaways for future entrepreneurs. Just as the dust seemed to settle, the owners were introduced to a charming and charismatic con-artist who wanted it all—and attempted to take it all.
If I were to break that summary into pieces, I would start by telling you how utterly ungripping it is. I started reading this book weeks ago, and I would put it down every few lines later. Eventually I got so annoyed with it, that I read a Stephen King, two Dan Browns (in fact, I re-read Angels and Demons) and the Sherlock Holmes series (also, revisited).
One of the main reasons why I went back to those old books was to get over the terrible writing. Punctuation marks have been murdered, or at least they are in the world that Redwood was written in. Add to that, a bunch of typos and peeve-inducing (if that’s a phrase) grammar (then/than for instance).
Then there are a bunch of characters and Rod goes into How I Met This Person mode at rather random moments in the story. In fact, in my opinion, Redwood is one of those stretched out chewing gum kinda books that you may skip pages of and still feel the story is right where you left off.
Redwood is a true story. The events described in the book were experienced by Rod Womack, the author, who reminds us every few pages or so that he is a born entrepreneur. While he may be that, he should have skipped trying to be an author before learning the proper usage of commas and apostrophes.
If you still wanna read it, here’s the link: Amazon
PS: The book was sent to me for review by Waldorf Publishing.