Friday, 22 August 2014

The Betrayers by Robert Morrison (Australia)

The Betrayers by Robert D. Morrison is a short novel published by Indra Press in Australia.  It is the story of a young Aussie woman, Candace who has fled to Thailand after the sudden suicide of her father. The story of Candace begins with her in a Thai jail after being caught with a kilo of heroin.  Each chapter tells the story from a different person's point of view. The dead man's brother (her uncle) Travis has organised to visit Candace from Australia also bringing her brother Vern, a pro footballer with him. They stay with a friend who works at the Aus. Embassy and his Thai mistresses' place. We hear first from Vern, then the next chapter is from the mistress, the Mia Noi. There is a further chapter from the friend who works in the embassy then the sexy reporter who Vern meets his first day in Thailand. She wants the story of Candace to benefit her own career. Then the two remaining chapters are from Uncle Travis and finally Candace herself.

What are they going to do about Candace's situation with a possible death sentence hanging overhead.  While the concept of the story is very interesting, the delivery of it through the eyes of the main players is quite an uneven tale. The story jumped from event to event with a couple of almost bad sex scenes and even a rape tossed in.  The dialogue I can only describe as clunky.  There are several pathways that could have been developed that don't seem to be.

The author does not seem to have a lot of experience writing novels. His experience from my online reseach turned up short stories and he had a couple of plays produced in Sydney.

After I read that about him I could see that this could have made an interesting play script. There were also several misspelled words in the book which always bothers me. I would have either extended this story into a proper longer novel or seriously edited it into a short story or play.

I did like the characters but didn't get to know them as I would have liked to. Candace is such a nasty person I didn't care if they got her out of jail or not. I would have left her there. The ending arrives very quickly and I have to say I just went "What?"

There is a lot of potential with this author but he needs to get his technique down a bit more and
prioritise some of the story lines. I thought there were too many and he couldn't properly develop all of them in such a short novel. Has anyone else read anything or know anything more about this Australian author? I wouldn't mind reading something else  by this a
uthor as he gains more experience with novels to see if he develops more as a writer.

An excerpt from beginning of book:

We are hardly off the bus that brought us to the terminal building from the plane parked out on the runway before they grab me: half a dozen little bozos in chocolate-coloured uniforms and carrying them stubby little semi-automatics. We hadn't got as far as customs, even. As a front rower in the Bondi Seagulls I could a' took them all on with no trouble except they had guns and me standing there with bags under each arm--mine and Uncle Travis'. Even then I would a' had a go but Uncle Travis looks at me frowning and shakes his head so I let them put the handcuffs on me and go with them into this little room off the main corridor. Uncle Travis comes too but he is stopped at the door.


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