This flashback review was originally posted on Amazon and Goodreads on September 17, 2011.
In August 2011, one of my favorite authors, Brett Battles, announced on his Facebook page that Phillip Hawley was offering his book, Stigma free to people who would post reviews on Amazon. I have reviewed books by such an arrangement before, and it’s always tricky because there is the chance that the book is awful, and you’ll hate it. You don’t want to trash a book that an author is giving away free for the express opposite purpose. In the case of this author, he specified in the containing the e-book file that he’d simply likes honest reviews. If I loved it, hated it or used it to line the birdcage, he wanted real reviews on Amazon and his confidence was encouraging, though the first half of his novel was not. If I hadn’t been given this book and been trusted to review it, I would have probably stopped reading at some point before the mid-point. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t terrible. The novel was mmmkay. There were some elements we could have done without, but it just wasn’t interesting. All changed midway through the book and I, as a reader, was sucked into the storyline so that when I put it down the happy feeling of reading a really good book was alive and well. If you love thrillers and you can slog through exposition, this may be the book for you.