Book Review: Ghost Money by Andrew Nette

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I really wanted to like this book because it is written by someone who lives in the same town as me…but I just couldn’t. Ghost Money is ostensibly the story of a private detective searching for a missing Australian businessman in Cambodia but so much of it feels like a history lecture (and I do mean lecture) that I often forgot that we were supposed to be on the lookout for a missing person.

I’m not sure if it was a terrible ebook conversion or just poor editing but the book was littered with spelling errors and missing words, so much so that I started to wonder if it had actually been written by someone for whom English wasn’t their first language and had then been lumped with the worst copyeditor in the world.

On my feminist pedestal for a moment: there are absolutely no complex female characters in this book.

Off my feminist pedestal now: I don’t think there were any truly complex characters in this book. I didn’t particularly like the main character – he seemed like a stereotype and a whiner – and by the end I was kind of hoping he would die. But, of course, at every opportunity the villains had to kill him, he miraculously and implausibly would be set free to continue with the story.

Perhaps the only redeeming feature for me was that the mythical treasure they were all searching for by the end of the book – missing person storyline was over and done with – didn’t end up in the hands of any of the unworthy characters in the book.

If you have a special interest in Cambodian or Asian history, perhaps this might interest you, but if you’re just looking for a good action/adventure/thriller/mystery etc, there’s plenty of other books I’d recommend before Ghost Money.

2 stars

*First published on Goodreads 3 April 2013

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