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on September 1, 2014
I bought the book because I feel I should support the writer during the witch hunt that's going on. Having said that, the book is not that good and I can't recommend it to anyone unless they just want to take a step against censorship.

My main problem is that the author uses way too many adjectives and adverbs. The book could have been half as long and still communicated the story. There's no need to worry about a child reading this...it would bore them before they got past the first chapter.

Again, if you're buying it to support the author in his time of need, so be it. Just don't expect a good read.
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on August 29, 2014
I don't have a Kindle or I would buy this just to support the freedom to write what the hell we want. Current news coverage indicates that the Dorchester County School Board and Sheriff's Department share a single brain cell they pass back and forth to keep motor function going. What idiots. This is like Stalin's Russia anymore.

[...]
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on September 2, 2014
This is an author whose horrible writing stopped me from reading his book after a few pages. I usually try to get through a chapter before I abandon a book (which is a rare thing in and of itself), but I just couldn't past the first 1%.

Like many reviewers here, I bought this in response to a news story. I'm sorry I did. This author *may* have a good story buried somewhere in this book - but his own words get in the way. I cannot get past his word choice (sounds like he swallowed a thesaurus), his style (he writes in third person present...and odd but valid choice...but he doesn't do it well, in my opinion), or his continued use of overpacked run-on sentences.

Here's an example - the second and third sentences of Ch. 1:
"She attempts to remain psychologically serene as she walks past the copious black body bags strewn throughout the front turf, cognisant of the reality that they enclose the the corpses of teenagers - all of whom were alive just a few short hours ago. Attempting to disregard the cadavers, Zea fixates on the building, which is equally as appalling to observe as the bodies as the occurrence of that afternoon has dispossessed the institution of every respectable attribute it once comprised."

...psychologically serene: she's a federal agent coming onto a crime scene. Putting this right up front makes me question her competence and her job choice. Her inner self can roil all it needs to - she needs to remain outwardly serene.
...bags strewn throughout: I highly doubt that body bags would be "strewn" (they would probably be laid carefully side by side, both because of efficiency and out of respect for the dead) and if they were, they'd be strewn across the turf, not throughout.
...cognisant of the reality: please don't try to impress me with big words and important-sounding phrases. Because if a federal agent isn't cognisant of the reality of the situation, I would not want them at that location.
...corpses and cadavers: cadavers is a medical term, not a "cop" term, and it's more often associated with dissection - does the author want me to think that they're being dissected right there and then?
...fixates on the building: A federal agent arriving at a crime scene would want to scan the entire scene - absorb all the data possible - and would not "fixate" on one thing, narrowing focus and therefore possibly missing evidence.
...as appalling to observe as the bodies: first, I doubt that a building's damage would be as appalling to see as that of a bullet-ridden body. Second, the character didn't observe any bodies - just body bags.
...dispossessed the institution: holy crap, get your words from reality and not from a thesaurus.

It gets worse. As I said, he may have a good book in there somewhere. I'm just not willing to slog through the miasma of his writing to get to it.
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on August 31, 2014
Buying this book to support freedom of speech - a comment I saw elsewhere said how lucky Stephen King is that this kind of policing didn't happen in the days when he wrote Carrie while he was a teacher. Maybe people will brush up on 1984 while we're thinking about this sort of thing.
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on August 30, 2014
Part way into it and it is quite the gripping little crime / techo-thriller. I can't believe his school and the police reacted so stupidly to something that is so obviously a FICTIONAL story.
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on September 1, 2014
I support the right of Patrick McLaw to write any book he wishes. I downloaded it today, and so should you. I have yet to read it, but I will begin doing so after this post. Dorchester County, in Cambridge, Maryland, should be ashamed of themselves for firing this man because he wrote this book. This is America, land of the free, and home of the first amendment right that gives Americans the freedom to write whatever they wish. And I quote: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;" or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." There is no law saying you cannot write anything you want. And the school district of Cambridge is way over-reacting to this book. There's no proof McLaw had any ill intentions towards his students, or his fellow faculty. They made a big mistake. The best way to support McLaw is to purchase his book.
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on September 2, 2014
I purchased this book to support the author. Normally I would never spend this much on an ebook, but it was the best way I could think to support him directly.

Now, I give honest reviews. I would love to say this book was worth 5 stars, but there's a lot about it that needs work. It is an interesting story, but it is obsessively wordy and it seemed as if he was just throwing in a lot of big words to look fancy.

All and all, the price is absurd - especially for the quality of the work - but it wasn't bad. I highly suggest investing in an editor.

3/5 Platypires
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on August 31, 2014
Dorchester County School administrators have confused fiction with reality and laid themselves open to a Constitutional complaint. I came to buy copies of anything written by this teacher to support him against an Orwellian situation. Amazon is missing a very large market by making it Kindle only at this point in time and could be said to be suppressing. I do encourage everyone
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on September 1, 2014
Bought this in protest of the local authorities arresting and confining this person just for being a teacher and writing a book about a school killing.
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on September 1, 2014
Giving this author five stars in support of Freedom of Speech, and in protest of the militarizing of police, and authoritarian government. No author should be arrested for publishing a work of fiction. And, no teacher should lose their job for having a life outside of school, if they have made a reasonable effort to separate their business and personal lives, as this author has done by using a pen name.
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