At over 300 pages, The Mall is unfortunately a bloated pile of trash. The author introduces dozens of characters, which required a pen and paper to keep track of who's who in the sea of Saturday shoppers. The plot develops into a semi-heist novel when a guy named Prince rounds up five other people to take over the busy Green Meadows shopping mall in Connecticut. They seal up the doors with a special “as seen on television” super-duper glue, then take control of the mall's security room and chief officer. Once this is done, they simply make a demand to the local police chief that they will release the shoppers once they receive millions of dollars in ransom money.
At some point, by like page 250, I was hoping an Able Team or Eagle Force would show up to liberate the mall in a hail of bullets and blood. But, none of that happens. Instead, the author spends pages and pages fixated on a birthday party for the mall's owner that is simultaneously taking place on an upper level while the mall is being commandeered by criminals. When a message is announced on the PA system that hijackers have overtaken the mall and are asking for millions in ransom money, 40,000 shoppers do absolutely nothing. In fact, it is mostly business as usual as long as they don't attempt to leave. It was kinda, “I'll have a slice of pizza and a TRS-80 game cartridge while I wait for the supposed carnage to end.” It was utterly ridiculous.
My poor shopping led to a miserable reading experience. It's The Mall of Shame and our newest inductee into the Hall of Shame.