Book Reviews

An Evil Wind by Michael Frase

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

If you’re following me on Twitter, I tweeted about this book a few days back. Here’s the tweet in question:

If, like yours truly, you reacted with “what even”, don’t worry. We’ll get to this in a minute.

Goodreads synopsis:

Two hikers in the mountains of northern Utah accidentally discover the frozen body of Democratic senator and presidential candidate, Robert Wayne “Skipper” Goodman — missing since his private jet crashed mysteriously en route to Washington nine months earlier.

Even as the esteemed senator’s family hastily arranges for the body’s return to California, the local coroner — with whom the senator’s remains have been temporarily entrusted — cannot resist the temptation to probe the most famous guest to ever cross his table. During a hurried, though noninvasive examination, an X-ray reveals a tiny brass key clutched tightly in the senator’s left fist. The doctor’s insatiable curiosity overrules his better judgment and he keeps the seemingly insignificant item as a memento.

In Washington, news of Goodman’s discovery results in the immediate assassination of the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the man with whom Goodman had hastily scheduled a meeting the day his private jet went down. Within moments of the murder, Colonel James Merkett — the man sworn to protect the secret of the key — races to Utah to contain the “Goodman problem” before it can spread any further.

Anxious to see her father after having been gone for a week, Lela Summers is horrified to discover that several people in her small town have died while she was out of touch. When she learns that all the deaths occurred within hours of Skipper Goodman’s body arriving at the coroner’s office, she and her closest friend, Marie Matthews, search that office for any clue that may shed some light on events they believe are connected by more than mere coincidence.

Cleverly hidden within the clinic, the two young women find a small brass key. Within moments of its discovery, Lela and Marie are in a frantic flight to save their very lives, pursued with a vengeance by a group of ruthless men with a single collective thought: protect the secret at all cost. To them, it’s worth killing for, but is it also a secret worth dying for?

The women soon realize that their only prayer of seeing another sunrise is to learn the meaning of the key before the men pursuing them add two more corpses to a rapidly growing body count.

What none of them knows is that Marie Matthews is a woman with deadly secrets of her own.

Review:

An Evil Wind is actually a good book. It has just the right amount of suspense, deranged killers, and political intrigue to be a good 80s blockbuster action movie. The story is good, but that’s all I’m going to give this book. The writing is decent but there were quite a few typos in the copy I received. The characters–including MC Marie Matthews–were not fleshed out well. But this book is entirely plot-driven and you’ll be racing to finish it despite certain, ahem, weirdness.

Take a good look at my tweet. Take a good look at the photo attached. And now don’t tell me you wouldn’t call it weird too. When you’re writing about a woman character being ambushed by a bunch of gun-wielding suits, you don’t try and make it sexy. And what even is “seductive regularity”?

2001

Here’s a followup:

“It [blood] had stained both cups of her bra where they and her generous cleavage met before…”

No. Just don’t. It doesn’t help that the main character is a woman. There are instances such as these throughout the book, leading me to question if some men know how to write a woman at all.

At one point in the book, Marie has room service with a guy in her bra and panties because “the hair dryer made [her] too hot to get dressed yet”.

200

 

You know what this proves? It’s not just women this author doesn’t understand, it’s hair dryers too! Hair dryers can get you a little hot around the neck sometimes but not enough to not get dressed. Hey man, if you want the main characters to go at it, get them to go at it instead of making crazy assumptions about hair dryers.

In conclusion, An Evil Wind is:

  • A good book in terms of the political intrigue, suspense, and plot.
  • Just sad because of the way women are written in it.

Rating:

3 out of 5. It lost the 2 stars just because of the way women are written it it.

 

That’s my review. How pissed off are you right now? Do you have any “male authors writing women” quotes? Let me know in the comments!

~ Shruti

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To all those asking, yes I’m back from my vacation. It’s taken me a week but I should get back to my usual posting schedule: posts on Sundays and any odd weekday I finish a book. And any day inspiration strikes.

For people asking me for le funnies, look for a satirical post on male authors writing women tomorrow! 😉


 

 

19 thoughts on “An Evil Wind by Michael Frase

  1. Oh my goooooodnesssss. I don’t think I could have gotten through it, honestly? Like. We get it, male writers. Her boobs were boobily boobing. Stop.

    I’ve been talking about this a lot, lately! Like. I’m not saying they can’t write a good book? But that someone should catch nonsense like that before the book ever gets out and make it stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are stellar male authors out there who write women extremely well! And then are some that just don’t. Sadly, this book just falls flat in the writing women part. And it’s especially sad because everything else is pretty good in this book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, right? One of my favorite YA books is by the man who (also) writes as Lemony Snicket. He wrote a YA from the point of view of a girl and it’s fantastic. Like he captured it so well.

        And then there are these guys.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bwahahaha once more you’ve made me laugh Shruti! Yes you are totally right and I love how you took some sentences out of the book and made us ponder about it like that. Happy Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok wait, what? She took room service from a stranger in her underwear because the hair dryer made her too hot? That is just a sad attempt at making sure your female character stays naked and sexy instead of a realistic woman. Ugh. How unfortunate when a book is actually good but then goes and throws in weird things that lower the rating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She has breakfast with this other character in the story (who was introduced only a couple of chapters before this scene). He gets room service and she walks into his room in her underwear.

      And if you’re thinking “thank god there were separate rooms and not the whole only-one-room-left storyline”, HA. That cliche was also there, but with a different guy in the book. 🤦🏼‍♀️

      I think the problem is authors thinking that “female” is a defining characteristic. Like, no. Don’t do this. Write a woman like how you’d write a man.

      Like

  4. Haha okay, so it’s that book 😛 Lol, I literally laughed that day when you put that tweet. It is so sad that a book with so much potential just fall flat because it doesn’t have good women characterization. I mean if the author has invested some time in writing the woman part form her viewpoint, then I guess it would have been better. also, being sexy is not always good 😛

    Like

    1. This has been so many times before, but the problem is “female” being considered a characteristic too. Just forget that. What need is there for a woman to dance around in skimpy outfits in a political thriller? *sighs*

      The tweet did make for a good laugh, though. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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