The DMZ

April 17, 2011

The DMZ currently has ten 5 star reviews on Amazon.com. Keep that in mind as you read what I have to say because 76 pages into the book I still found myself wondering who, what, why and how.  I knew when; I knew where; but I really didn’t give a flip because I had very little idea what was really going on. It wasn’t until page 71 that the main character finally showed up. It was too little, too late. I was done.

Most book editors will tell you that an author has to develop a relationship with and secure the trust of the reader within the first few paragraphs. I gave Jeanette Windle 76 pages of paragraphs — two full chapters — and then I was too frustrated to waste anymore energy trying to figure out and keep track of who was who.  Windle is a decent enough writer, but in my opinion (which apparently is in the minority) when it comes to the The DMZ at least, she’s failed as a storyteller. Half of the characters in the first chapter of  the book didn’t even have names, but if you know your recent Middle Eastern history you can figure out who they are. To me that makes the author’s refusal to name those obviously real people seem like intellectual game playing. Adding insult to injury, several minor characters were named and very well developed — then killed off in just a few pages. I didn’t know who I was supposed to put my trust in or what characters to root for — and by the end of chapter two I didn’t care.

About The DMZ:
More than a decade after the end of the cold war has chilled the Marxist rebel movements around the world, one hot spot remains: Colombia. Why a democratic country with a growing economy should still feel the brushfires of a civil war is a mystery to U.S. analysts, but not to certain parties on the other side of the world.

The inexplicable loss of three major U.S. assets draws the attention of the world to the Colombian demilitarized zone. Are the local Colombian rebels responsible? Or is a deadly Middle Eastern secret cloaked by the jungle canopy of the DMZ?

Among the contingent of politicians and media headed for the DMZ seeking answers is reporter Julie Baker, whose parents had been missionaries in Colombia. Old hurts and terrors surge as she revisits the place of her birth… and her parents’ deaths. When Julie’s own abduction by guerrillas triggers a time bomb that has been ticking under the feet of the U.S. for a decade, she is left with more questions than answers.

About Jeanette Windle:
As the child of missionary parents, Windle, an award-winning author and journalist, grew up in the rural villages, jungles, and mountains of Colombia, now guerrilla hot zones. Currently based in Lancaster, PA, Windle has lived in six countries and traveled in more than thirty on five continents. She has fifteen books in print, including political/suspense best-seller CrossFire, The Parker Twins series and Tyndale House Publishers releases: Betrayed, Veiled Freedom, and Freedom’s Stand.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from LitFuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com. Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com.


About the author

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com.

3 Comments

  • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

    Okay, the Amazon reviews say that if you can choke down the first 50-80 pages of the book, it becomes a decent read. I guess I gagged too soon. Alas.

  • Barbara H.No Gravatar says:

    This doesn’t sound like something I’d gravitate to anyway, but I’d be frustrated with a beginning like that, too.

    • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

      Barbara — well, after I finished my review I went back to read all those 5 star reviews and now I am thinking I’ll keep the book and maybe give it another chance later — when I have forgotten my frustration and can come at it open minded.

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