Book Review: Hoot Hoot by Stephen Dickmann

Book Synopsis

Upon returning from his dream vacation, Ray Harrison is a changed and refreshed man. Little does he know that his world has turned dark and deadly. His life takes an unforeseen turn. When bizarre and tragic events began to unfold, he must ask himself if these are all of coincidence, or do they have a deeper, more sinister connection.

As you follow Ray through this suspenseful novel of mystique, you will find that he is in fact in a race against time for the lives of his loved ones, and perhaps his very own. With the messenger of death one step ahead of him, Ray must struggle to find a way to stop the chaos.

Hoot Hoot takes you on a dark and deadly journey through the life of one man, and his family. It is a must read for any suspense/mystery lover. This novel is based upon true events.

Bec's Rating

Bec's Review

The premise of Hoot Hoot looked interesting in that it claimed to be a suspenseful and slightly supernatural story where one man tries to stop the curse that is put upon his family before it is too late. The curse involves a family member dying every time Ray hears an owl hoot. However the book in no way lives up to this premise, and I found that any semblance of a plot got lost in jumping from random and often irrelevant event to next random irrelevant event. When the making of a good book is one where every chapter, every scene, every word in some way furthers the plot this book falls way short, often providing chapters telling the daily working of the characters lives in such over detail that you wonder if any of it is necessary. I don’t need to know that 3 men used the toilet while Ray was in there, unless for some reason Ray taking a long time is relevant to the plot, or that they bought a cabin house in the woods that is never ever mentioned again.

However along with this over-information and shuffling nature of the story there were also several plot inconsistencies, highlighting the reason why many authors like to keep detailed notes of their plots. Time was one of these inconsistencies, where in one paragraph a week may have passed between two events but the next might claim only a day. However this was not the only inconsistency. For instance in one chapter Ray buys a new house, and then several chapters later this fact seems to be forgotten.

Spelling and grammar are also an issue, including many times when quotation marks and question marks were used entirely in the wrong positions. It was very confusing to read, and added to this is the fact that most of the sentences were lacking in descriptive imagery. There are several deaths throughout this book but they are told in such a casual way that it is difficult to feel anything for those characters at all. There is very little description used, despite the over sharing. Rather this book is a case of telling and not showing.

Also in need of work is the ending, which I couldn’t believe was near while a page out. The ending in no way wraps up the storyline, in fact it merely raises many more questions and left me feeling extremely unsatisfied. There was no way to see it coming, no hints, no foreshadowing, nothing. However despite my negative review I do feel this book has potential. Perhaps it should be seen as a draft, in need of a serious rewrite and then editing by someone new and removed from the story writing process who will be able to point out the flaws and make an intriguing book out of what could be an interesting storyline. Until then I sadly cannot recommend buying this book.

Disclaimer: May not be appropriate for children due to violence.