Publication Date: June 7, 2012
In Connected by Simon Denham, two men from different regions and walks of life kill themselves and the brother of one and friend of the other try to sort out why these men would take their own lives. Peter searches the files of his professional violinist brother and Doug searches the file his friend Kal, sent him before throwing himself from a tower. Why did they die and how are their death connected?
In preparing for this review I looked at other reviews on Amazon to see what folks thought about the novel. On Amazon.com there are six reviews and all of them have five stars. My next step was to look at the points of the reviewers. One called the novel thought-provoking. Connected is certainly what I would call a technical work. Looking at the author’s biography, I see that Simon Denman has a degree in electrical engineering. There is very specific knowledge in this novel that strikes me as real, so the author having studied in a technical field fits the narrative.
This is Denman’s first novel and, as such, I’m willing to give him a break. A reviewer on the U.K. site says that this is a book that would be better enjoyed by people with a scientific background. This reader studied historical preservation and for me, the story dragged. While reading the first 50% of the novel I thought many times that Mr. Denman would benefit greatly from an editor as scenes that were probably meant to add depth to the characters feel flat due to the extensive nature of over description. Is it a cultural difference? The novel and Simon Denman are set in the U.K. where this author has 20 reviews topping out at five stars. Did I simply just not get it?
Ultimately this novel simply didn’t snare me. I found the French sister-in-law for whom Peter lusts and his somewhat shrewish wife typical. The dialogue was awkward and I never connected with the characters (though connecting with the characters is never essential to liking a novel). The narrative wandered frequently. The best thing that I can say about this novel is that I do not appear to be typical of its readership.
This was not the novel for me but was it for you? Let me know.
Read an excerpt and buy Connected by Simon Denham on