Book Review: If Jack Had by Steven Rappaport

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

If Jack Had by Steven Rappaport
(Started: August 06, 2015; Finished: August 21, 2015)

This dark, ironic, tale of duality and dying, is a story of fathers and sons. If you love Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Elmore Leonard, this book will resonate. Jack is a New York Times journalist with a second job as a contract killer for the Russian Mob. “What’s the difference between a serial killer and an assassin? A paycheck.” The events occur mainly in Manhattan, Miami, Tel Aviv, and Greece. The book begins at the end, with the protagonist preparing to kill his final victim; himself. It finishes where it began. In between there is sex, laughs, deaths. . . and a bit of incontinence. (From Goodreads)

Review: 2 stars
Publication Date: June 04, 2015
Source: Black Rose Writing via Netgalley

If Jack Had caught my attention from the moment I read its synopsis. From its tagline, "A journalist with a killer story", clearly, I was promised to have an exciting ride. The plot was really interesting I have to give the author that. How cool it is to be a journalist by day and a secret hitman or assassin by night. How could you say no to such a unique storyline? Like a fish that was about to bite a worm on a hook, I took the bait.

The story was told in a very complex way of narrating. Jack told his story from his point of view and started off on how he ended up with his nighttime job. It shifts from present Jack to his younger version then to another timeline. It's quite hard to keep track and it made the story less cohesive in terms of having a progressive storyline.

When it comes to the characters, I had a clear idea on who's who, what they are, and how they do. But for some reason, I feel like the character that lacks more personality is the protagonist himself--Jack. For such an exciting persona, he should've had a strong aura about him that will get you hooked to know him more. I appreciate that he was able to make me curious with his sociopathic instincts, but I guess that's not enough. For me, Jack fell flat, and the rest followed--which includes every event that occurred or mentioned, other characters, and the rest of the story. I wish the author digged deeper when it comes to Jack's thoughts, assignments, and a stronger backstory. I think the ending was also an overkill. I felt that it was too good to be true or too forced at the same time. It was too scripted.

Overall, it was still an interesting read but, not a book you should pick up when you're looking for something worthwhile to read. It definitely needs a lot of improvement and adjustments. Though I appreciate that it was a story Jack could've had, but I believe that the author could've done a way better job to it because it really felt half-baked.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Love lots, xx

Style Reader

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