Seven Down ARC Review

  • Author: David Whitton
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Spy Thriller
  • No. of pages: 200
  • Dates read: 09.11.21 – 10.11.21
  • Star Rating: 2.5 stars
  • ARC Publisher: Dundurn Press
  • Date Published: 30.11.21

Plot: Seven ordinary hotel employees. Catering, Reservations, Management. Seven moles, waiting for years for a single code word, a trigger that will send them into action in a violent event that will end their dull lives as they know them. The event has failed: the action was a disaster. Each employee is being debriefed by an agent of an invisible organization. These are the transcripts of these interviews. What they reveal is not just the intricate mechanism of an international assassination, but the yearnings inside each of its pawns, the desperation and secret rage that might cause any one of us to sign up, sell out, and take a plunge into darkness.

First of all, thank you Dundurn Press and Netgalley for a copy of this proof copy in exchange for an honest review.

Going into this book I didn’t have many expectations. All I knew was that the story was structured through a series of interviews which I thought was super exciting. I have previously loved novels which are structured like that so that made me excited to start the novel.

In terms of the structure and the interviews. I thought that was done really well. I felt the story flowed well, I was reading it really quickly and it allowed me to get invested instantly. I thought it was an ingenious way to tell the story. The issues I had with the novel was I wish it had focused solely on the operation. Quite a lot of the characters went off on their own personal tangents, some which connected perfectly with the main mystery and some which felt wholly irrelevant. I enjoyed the main mystery of this failed operation so much that I didn’t;t care about the personal tangents the characters went on. I understand they are there to build a better picture of the different characters but I just really didn’t enjoy them. It took me out of the story and I just wanted to focus on the main mystery at hand.

Because these characters went off kilter a lot, the story derailed for me quite a bit which ultimately led to me getting to the end of the novel feeling a bit dis-satisfied. I personally wished for the novel to focus more on the core mystery.

In terms of the characters I thought the variety in the characters were great. All the characters had strong narrative voices that felt very different from one another and I really enjoyed exploring who these characters were. I really liked the characters Summer and Rhonda. When you are relying heavily on characters to drive the story I felt Whitton did a great job of creating complex and realistic characters.

Overall, I felt this novel had loads of potential but started to derail near to the end leading to a underwhelming conclusion.

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