February 1, 2014

Playtime by Bart Hopkins Jr.

Playtime is an interesting book. It is complex yet pretty simple all at the same time.

Blaine is the main character. He has a near-death experience at the beginning of the book, except well . . . he does die. BUT HE COMES BACK.

Obviously when a character beats death, there must be a reason for his existence, and in typical novel fashion, he is very important to the story.

Blaine’s near- death/actual death experience comes when he is hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. The woman that hit him originally claims that she does not have insurance because her coverage had expired, but Blaine’s brother examines her insurance plan and finds a loophole stating she has a grace period.

After settling that issue, Blaine is met with devastating news. His ex-girlfriend who he was rekindling his relationship with is reported dead. Two investigators visit him at his house to bring him the news. His whole world comes crashing down around him. What I like about this scene, Bart writes it really well. You can feel the emotion coming from Blaine, and it really sucks you in.

He had seen her just the night before at the bar she works at. A man had been harassing her a bit, and Blaine is convinced he is the one who harmed his girl.

He goes on the hunt to find this man who he has no name for. He tried working with the police department, but he feels as though they are not doing their jobs efficiently enough. He goes against their warnings of taking this into his own hands, and he goes after the man anyways.

This book does not fail in the action department, it is sure full of it. All at the right times as well. It does not feel like forced action. Rather, it is fully justifiable due to the emotions that Blaine is feeling.

The characters were all written pretty well. Blaine obviously had the most attention paid to detail as he is the main character. I would expect nothing less. Blaine’s brother did seem to be a pretty irrelevant character other than the one scene at “Sketch’s” house, though. I am not really sure what his role in the story was.  

Blaine coming back from the dead seemed to be a back-burner story line. I thought it was going to have a much bigger role in the plot. I was thinking that maybe he had something to do with his girlfriend’s disappearance and couldn’t remember due to his brain injury, then he would have to try to work through his memories to get her back – I was wrong. It happens from time to time ;)

The story is pretty easy to follow do to the simplicity of it. There is only one really big twist, though I was expecting a few more that never came.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book. I basically read it all at one time. It was really hard to put down, sort of addicting in a way. It really keeps you guessing as to what is next which makes you not want to put it down until it is finished.

4.5/5 stars