Top critical review
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Great first effort from a new American voice
on February 22, 2013
In his first novel Could You But Find It, Robert Cilley displays a distinctive and enjoyable voice, like an American Alexander McCall Smith. Curiously, Cilley is a judge, and McCall Smith a law professor. Could that account for the similar way of thinking and writing? Although the events in the book are thrilling, the narrative pace is measured, evoking leisurely Southern storytelling.
The blurb really doesn't describe the book well. It's about a young man who comes into an unexpected inheritance of secrets and his three Clemson University classmates who help him in his journey. It's got an international scope, complete with black helicopters, and a touch of mysticism.
I found it to be quite the page turner, and am looking forward to more fiction from Mr. Cilley. Why did I give it only three stars? First, I am pretty strict. Secondly, the final third of the book wasn't as energetic as the first part. The main characters' fates are secure, but the bad guys have yet to meet their comeuppance, and the full back history has to be revealed. With some collaborative editing, the three strands could have been better woven together to arrive at the end at the same time.