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Promise Me Eternity by Ian Fox

Promise Me Eternity

by Ian Fox

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I was asked to review this book by the author. The premise definitely sounded intriguing, so I agreed. I’ve been reading this one in small chunks here and there for nearly a month now, and I wish that I could say that it was a great book... but it just wasn’t.

I didn't care for this book, but I think that it had quite a bit of potential to be very good. The writing, the details, the stiffness of the story just didn’t get it anywhere close to where it should be. There was far too much erroneous side information given, far too many characters, and things just seemed to take far too long to actually get going in the story. The first 50 pages barely even nudge the door open on the story. We’re taken on rounds and visit quite a lot of patients, but the story wasn’t even close to starting at that point. We’ve met a couple characters, but it doesn’t really provide any useful information. I’m OK with side information… when it serves a purpose. It didn’t here. It was just unnecessary filler, and when it comes at the beginning of the story, I start worrying.

The dialogue throughout was stiff and unnatural, and the characters never felt like real people to me. When the main character’s wife is murdered, all I felt was a sort of relief that I wouldn’t have to listen to her nag anymore. She was greedy, selfish and immensely irritating. I know quite a few women who are just like that, but that doesn’t make it realistic or good. There was no depth, no personality, no life in the story. It was like cardboard cutout marionettes, with bad voiceover actors doing the dialogue. I feel harsh saying that, but it’s true. There’s the brilliant scientist on the verge of a breakthrough if only he wasn’t stuck in his tedious middle management neurosurgeon job. The fact that he actually, petulantly, threatened to let a patient die because his boss wouldn’t fund his science experiments made me seriously want to throw the book against the wall. The fact that he even thought it is a violation of what makes people go into medicine in the first place – the desire to help people. And further, the fact that his pet project is an anti-aging drug, I felt like it was both hypocritical and completely superficial at the same time. He wants to help people live longer, right? So he’s studying within his field to try to find a cure for illnesses of the brain, right? No. He’s making glorified botox.

I didn’t get it, and never really warmed to this book at all. This could have been a book much more worth reading if it was edited and trimmed down. This is over 400 pages long, and in my opinion, at least a quarter of that should have hit the cutting room floor. There’s just too much going on, and it became distracting. So, overall, this was not great, but some work could get it closer to it. ( )
  TheBecks | Apr 1, 2013 |
Free e-book from the author received for review. Meant to be a popular fiction type murder mystery with the successful doctor on the brink of a scientific breakthrough, the mobster and his gorgeous wife. English is not the author’s first language and that is evident in the stilted conversations and in the sentence structure that sounds like a ninth grade exercise in creative writing.

One star because he tied up all the plot ends. Sorry, Ian ( )
  ParadisePorch | Jun 7, 2012 |
How to describe this book, written by Ian Fox..This is a tough one, as i would rate it 1.5 stars for plot, but 4 stars for characters. Because of this, you will find a very confused review follows below.

Quick synopsis. Successful Neurosurgeon is depressed and has a home life that can only be described as extreme emotionally abusive. He is consistently ripped into, which causes him to be distant, which exacerbates his situation. Neurosurgeon saves the life of a known gangster after a car wreck, then falls head over heels for the gangsters wife. Obviously, not the brightest move, but people do stupid things for love.

Anything more would be spoilers.

Suffice to say that there are about ten total characters, and each has their part, though maybe not in the same story arc. This novel is more of a character exploitation in the realm of greed where love is involved. It is enjoyable, but if you are looking for action packed gripping plot line, you should look elsewhere. This is a book for Character lovers and those who enjoy a meandering stroll through the inner thoughts of people as lost as most of us fail to admit we are. The plot twist is less surprising and more “I knew that was going to happen” but the reaction of those involved is less expected. The main character blooms at that point becoming something I would not have guessed at. Again, all about the characters

Promise Me Eternity was a good read, but painful in one important (to me) regard. Taking place in Oregon, where I live, I had a rough time getting past the fact that all the characters spoke and thought like Europeans. It was off putting. Perhaps this is something that would not impact people from another part of the world, but for someone who lives here, it was very inauthentic feeling. I felt like the author had visited, but never stayed more than a couple days.

Descriptions of the area were also very lackluster, seeming to be from pictures found on the internet rather than an actual live experience.

I think the author would be better served in revamping and moving the location to a European location. else wise simply stating “so and so moved here from such and such after medical school”. This would not serve all characters the same though as one admitted to being born and raised local. The Euro feel to the language, thoughts, and conversation would be too difficult to fix, where relocation would be cut and paste, could even be a made up place, as the place is not important to the story.. From my view, this book could be set anywhere, the region mattered less than the characters. This in-genuine feeling took the novel and put it in an uncomfortable position. It went from plausible to “not sure if I care” multiple times per chapter.. The Grants Pass/Medford/Ashland area has a very vibrant individuality that was just “missing”.

Best suggestion, read the author’s synopsis and make your own decision. It won’t be for everyone, but it was not a bomb either.
Overall good work on this, worth reading, but if you are an Oregonian, you may find similar concerns.

I just couldn’t get past the language issues!!
( )
  JasonBrownPDX | May 10, 2012 |
Author: Ian Fox
Published By: I.F.
Age Recommend: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Raven Rating: 4
Blog Review For: GMTA

"Promise Me Eternity" by Ian Fox was indeed good suspense
mystery. The author really had a lots going on in this novel. It was
a long read and if you are able to stick with it.. lots of details ....you will find its a very good read. The characters go on and on....Dr. Simon Patterson, (his wife) Helen, Anita and Jerry, Carlo and Christine, Edna, and Paul Tuttle only to name a few.
All of these characters and more really prove to be very interesting people in this novel that changes a lot in each chapter. You will have to definitely keep up or you will be left wondering just what is going on.

"Promise Me Eternity" was a fast paced read that took many twist and
turns to that you had to follow to keep up. For you will find a lots of suspense, jealousy, affairs and murders. Truly money was of great importance in this novel.

Dr. Simon Patterson was a well know neurosurgeon from Oregon, married
fifteen years to is wife Helen. Simon has spent a lot of this time with trying to develop an anti aging vaccine. His wife was all about the money she can get her hands on for for her clothes, cars, vacation trips and more..she wanted it all... now. Real problems arrive from this behavior and when Simons saves a gangsters life (Carlo Vucci)
who offered Simon a check for Fifty Thousand dollars and Simon refuses and this greatly upsets his wife... Helen. Then Carlo's wife (Christine) makes a play for Simon...then Simon wife (Helen) is murdered ... Who kills Helen and why is Simon accused of her murder?

The story is loaded with so many twist and turns that you will
you will only have get this great read to find out just what is going on. I do not want to give too much of it away. However, you
will definitely be in for a good read with all of its suspense that is presented because there is never a dull moment in this read all the way to the end. As you continue to read you will find out what fate comes to Dr. Simon Patterson and how or if he will he get out this mess. Who is really responsible for what has happened to Simon? Also, what's up with those lovely beautiful roses that are in Simons's yard?

I can only say if you are in for a good suspense mystery "Promise Me Eternity" will be a good read for you. ( )
  arlenadean | Mar 31, 2012 |
This is the kind of review I hoped I would not have to write but I’m afraid this novel defeated me. Giving the author the benefit of the doubt, English is not his first language, something has been lost in translation. I tried very hard to find rhythm and depth in the writing but was unsuccessful and the dialogue was stilted and naïve (but not in a good way). I’m afraid I couldn’t warm to the characters either as they were unbelievable and verging on caricatures’, particularly the women. There may be a premise of a solid story in there but I couldn’t wade through to the end to discover it and I really did try.
I received a copy free in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  lesleymc | Mar 9, 2012 |
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Dr. Simon Patterson is a successful and well-respected neurosurgeon at Central Hospital in the town of Seattle. Married, though without children, he keeps himself so busy that one day is not much different from another. Until, that is, he saves the life of the powerful mobster Carlo Vucci. At a dinner in honor of Dr. Patterson, Carlo Vucci introduces him to his alluring wife Christine. Simon is entranced by her beauty. Three weeks later, Christine shows up at the hospital, complaining of terrible headaches. Dr. Patterson offers to help her, but Christine did not come to see him just because of her headaches. A series of shocking events follow that turn Dr. Patterson's life into a nightmare. Among other things, he finds himself in court being accused of murder in the first degree .. Author Ian Fox continues to surprise readers with his mysterious, intriguing plots that captivate you from the very first page and leave you stunned long after you've read the book to the end.… (more)

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