4 November 2013

Review: Indecent Behavior by Caryl Rivers

Indecent Behavior is a re-release of a 1990 thriller by Caryl Rivers. It follows two investigative journalists who stumble upon a secret human experiment which has deadly consequences.

For me Indecent Behavior shows its age, and this really drags the book down. There is a huge focus on class and background, with ethnic slurs like spic, nigger and yankee used so liberally that they lose any real impact. The two lead characters seem obsessed with their class/ethnicity and those of others, and this gets boring really fast. Unlike most more contemporary books, there is nothing sophisticated or sarcastic about the use of ethnic stereotypes here, and this makes the characters seem wooden and, at times, made me as a reader feel uncomfortable.

The idea of using electric stimulation of the brain to control behaviour was an interesting one, but unfortunately this plot takes a backseat to the ethnic self-wrangling and rampant sex between the two main characters, and so you are often going pages and pages with nothing to advance the plot. Nearer the end of the book, there is an increase in the focus on the main plot and the action, but even the best of these scenes, for example when our lead characters break into an apartment to try to find evidence of the experiments, is then ruined by a shift of focus onto how aroused one of the characters is by the other one pretending to sunbathe.

Overall I did not enjoy Indecent Behavior. There just wasn’t enough actual thriller plot there for me, and I really did not like the dated use of ethnic slurs or focus on class. The reason that I gave this book two stars instead of one is that the actual writing is not flawed, and the concept behind the sci-med plot was good, even if it did not fulfil its potential. 

Indecent Behavior is available from Amazon.co.uk for £2.02 and from Amazon.com for $3.16.

[A review copy was provided through NetGalley]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...