Book Review

The Connection by David Billingsley

Firstly, huge thanks to David for reaching out and providing me with a copy of his novel in exchange for an honest review. 

The Connection is a story of the different connections people have to each other through their lifetimes, especially in the small town of Dinley in West Texas, but with a hint of sci-if thrown in. Sandy McAllister is a DJ for a local radio station and is struggling to cope with the losses she has suffered when a mysterious stranger wanders into town. Everyone in town seems to be drawn to this stranger but for some this is filled with hate and for others it’s something quite different…

Like Sandy, I felt immediately drawn to this stranger. I liked his mannerisms and I was fascinated by him, desperate to find out more about him especially as he seems to stir such powerful feelings amongst people – regardless of whether he has met them or not. I did find Sandy and AJ really interesting at the start of the novel, however I found that the more we began to discover about the stranger the less invested I was in the other characters. Even though the stories we were uncovering were interesting.

The beginning of the novel had me hooked. I was eager to see where this novel was going and even more eager to get answers to all of Sandy’s questions, whilst also getting answers about Sandy herself too. I enjoyed the way the novel would jump between characters and places and that these were clearly identified at the beginning of each chapter. It gave a great sense of time that this novel was taking place over whilst maintaining interest by changing perspectives, which I felt was very important for a novel like this where so many people are impacted by this one stranger. Although, there were times towards the end that I feel would have been better if they were shorter to maintain the same intensity as the beginning of the novel. 

Whilst we are provided with several explanations throughout the course of the novel for various events that take place, which result in some very intriguing twists, I found that I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending as a whole. I think this is more down to personal preference, rather than an issue with the novel itself, as I know some readers would prefer some aspects of the mystery to remain that way so you can come to your own conclusions. However, I would have liked something a little more concrete regarding a certain part of the novel which I won’t go into detail on as I don’t want to spoil the ending! 

Overall, I felt that this novel had a very strong start and it presents an interesting story with a great balance of general fiction and sci-fi elements. However, I did find a couple of chapters towards the end slightly repetitive and whilst the twists were unexpected some were a little underwhelming. 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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