Everybody has at least one book they can write in their lifetime, right? I've heard that statement dozens of times. Apparently author Robin Sherman heard it as well. The former real estate agent contributed to the men's fertile action adventure genre in 1973. “Jigsaw”, her only known literary work, has the stereotypical attire that would accompany genre pieces of that era. It's published by Pinnacle (home of 'The Executioner') with a cover painted by the talented Gil Cohen ('The Executioner'). Is “Jigsaw” a diamond in the rough, a treasure buried in decades of used books? Or, simply a one-time use better served as kindling for your campfire?
Sadly, “Jigsaw” falls into the fire-starter category.
The novel is set in London and consists of a crime syndicate using a stolen weapon to destroy government embassies. With a disposable narrative that begs for 'Killmaster', Sherman's writing is a complicated, contrived work that burdens readers with pages upon pages of cumbersome backstory on characters that have very little plot value. Each chapter is broken down into character conventions – brief history, identity and some connection - no matter how trivial – to the central theme. While readers are begging for a propelling story, Sherman focuses her efforts on mindless introductions.
While not intended (who knows?), there are some enjoyable moments. In a humorous scene the chief intelligence officer for an unnamed British agency has his secretary randomly pick one of three agent files. As if performing a magic trick, the woman chooses rookie agent Brendon McCallie. For an important mission, like say government embassies exploding daily in London, the only solution to the problem is by choosing an agent randomly. It is a paradigm of how disposable the writing really is.
While there are some gripping action sequences, it's too little too late to save what is ultimately a dumbed-down effort. As of the time of this writing, Sherman had plans for a crime novel about a “racketeering” tennis player. Just roll your eyes and scan the shelves for something better.
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