*I was provided with this book – Nothing Happens All The Time – free of charge so I could read it and create this review. All opinions are my own.*
Edmund Mahon has woven together a police crime drama and an existential “higher consciousness” story to create a unique novel. Nothing Happens All The Time is a very long story. I found it equal parts interesting, and slow. The crime story is great – good flow, interesting characters, and a successful resolution. The weird “higher consciousness” part of the story was much more difficult to swallow.
After completing this book, I’m still unsure what the title is supposed to mean. The full title of this story is Nothing Happens All The Time: Homicides Truly Know How To Interrupt A Good Meal! Bit of a wordy title, if you ask me. Maybe it’s just an allusion to the various “states of being” that are explored in the novel – meaning that nothing is as it appears in the corporeal world. Our spirits are always ascending and reincarnating so what is going on today is really “nothing” compared to the endlessness of our spiritual life – something like that? I don’t know.
I think as a police crime novel this story would have been great. The next level, life/ascending spiritual stuff could have easily been left out and it would have still been a good story. Admittedly, bits of the plot would have to be re-worked, but I’m still not convinced the two plot lines really mesh well here.
As far as the writing style – it’s not bad. As always I can find some grammar errors, words misplaced, or run-on sentences, but again they don’t really detract from the overall style of the book. Some of the plot did get hard to follow where the writing just needed a tweak. Occasionally who the speaker is is unclear. I also found some parts really wordy, where a more concise sentence or paragraph would have done just as well. But for a debut novel, it’s well written. As I like to suggest, another viewing by an editor (or proof-reading by some more friends/family/early readers) may have helped tweak a few things.
I liked the basic crime plot. There were not too many characters, the investigation moved forward as you would expect, and there was a resolution. Of course there is also a love story. It moved along very quickly but was quite believable. And then you have to mention the higher states of being part of the story. As a plot point it worked because the crime story needed it to. The whole idea of it is, of course, interesting to those who think about “what comes after” but I don’t think it needed to be combined with this particular set of characters. It’s almost a story in itself – or a companion piece. I’m not really sure.
Edmund Mahon has great promise as a writer. I would be happy to read more of his works. If you like weird energy transference/higher states of being ideas this book may be right up your alley!