Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Book review : The Expired - B.P. Smythe

I've just finished reading The Expired by B.P. Smythe, having read another of his books, Then There Were None, last year (click through for that review), and if there is one thing that I have to say about the author, it's that he has a very vivid imagination !

The Expired has a lot going on, but let's take the toxic father-son relationship between politician Sir Geoffrey and his son Frances as the starting point. Frances is gay and dating a black man - both good enough reasons for his, frankly despicable, father to hate him. Unbeknownst to his father, he is also a transsexual preying on men, and has a damaged personality from his years of abuse in the form of Roxanne. Both men commit despicable acts but it is easier to feel sorry for Frances, as Geoffrey is morally corrupt and frankly unappealing.

But that is not all - far from it ! The novel also reveals a secret governmental campaign, used by MI5, to brainwash certain individuals to be sleeper cells, willing to carry out horrific acts before killing themselves, once they have been activated by key words in a telephone call. This seemingly unbelievable storyline is apparently based on Manchurian Candidates (or sleepers) used during the Korean War and the East West Cold War. I have no idea if this is true or not but the version depicted in the novel is pretty hard to imagine.

The whole novel reads a bit like an overactive Boys' Own comic book, with enough fast action, sex and bad language - both in swear words and also unedited errors - to keep everyone interested, even if they're not usually keen on reading. I was unimpressed by the lack of detail given about people and places - when key characters were killed off, I didn't feel anything because they had not been sufficiently described and built up in my mind, which I thought was a shame. The huge amount of spelling, grammar and editing errors were also a big black mark over this book, and would be easy enough to sort out.

star rating : 3/5

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: BookPublishingWorld (10 Sept. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1911412728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1911412724

Disclosure : I received a copy of the book in order to share my honest review.

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