Elocution Lessons

A Novel

Fiction - Action
346 Pages
Reviewed on 11/03/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Elocution Lessons is a work of edgy action fiction penned by author J. William Patrick. Written for adult audiences due to its racy content, sexual situations and graphic violence, this Tarantino-esque novel rockets through a thrilling plot with a series of stylish characters. Two such characters are Tina Wood and Bryce St. James, former high school sweethearts who have gone their separate ways into high flying success. Tina’s translation work for the FBI ought to be a doddle, but when she encounters some documents from the Middle East, things get so suspicious that she can’t help but be drawn into their intrigue. As Bryce harkens for the dynamic days from his youth, his new career as a financial star leads him back to the girl he once, and still, loves.

Author J. William Patrick has created a cinematic experience with his novel, engaging in short chapters that act as different scenes where the action takes place. From scene to scene the description is highly effective, giving strong imagery and sensation as a background to the characters and the unfolding plot. Dr Tina Wood is highly engaging as a powerful and intelligent female lead, sinking deeper into the mystery and pitting her wits against everyone around her in order to survive. The dialogue is also very sharp and witty, with fun interchanges that cut through the action and ramp up the tension with every turn of a page. Overall, Elocution Lessons is a highly stylish mystery that is sure to please fans of dynamic action and adventure fiction everywhere.

Grant Leishman

Elocution Lessons by J. William Patrick takes the reader all across the world from Japan to the U.S, to Turkey, to Pakistan and back to the U.S. as a rogue FBI agent seeks singlehandedly to take down and destroy a major weapons-smuggling and money-laundering cartel that is both violent and ruthless. The author introduces us to a wide range of characters in an extensive ensemble cast. The principal characters, though, are Tina Wood and Bryce St. John. Tina is a navy brat and spent her childhood traveling around the world where she displayed a remarkable ability with linguistics. She and Bryce first meet at an International School dance in Ankara, Turkey. Although deeply attracted, they both decide to put their careers first before a relationship. Tina will go on to become a linguistics professor with a maximum-security clearance, who does translation work for the U.S. government, while Bryce will make a fortune as a trader for a privately-held foreign bank in New York. Whilst keeping their friendship alive long-distance, neither of them realizes that their professional paths are leading them both toward danger, mystery, and intrigue in the criminal underworld.

I found Elocution Lessons to be an exciting, fast-paced novel that fulfilled all the elements I would expect in a “spy” type thriller. It is a tale of intrigue and action. Author J William Patrick did an excellent job of building the cast of characters and throwing in plenty of “red herrings” along the way, as any good thriller writer would. This author's skill lies in his ability to bring all the disparate characters together at the end to create a logical conclusion to the novel. This is an excellent and satisfying read that kept me engaged the whole time. For those who enjoy a little steam in their romantic liaisons, there was plenty of that to keep you interested. If, as I suspect, this is a debut novel from J William Patrick, it is a worthy beginning and one worth building on. I will be watching out for more from this author in the future.

Romuald Dzemo

Elocution Lessons: A Novel by J. William Patrick has a lot in it: murder, intrigue, dark web, adventure, and romance. Tina Wood is an intelligent linguist who is hired as an FBI consultant. Her job consists of translating documents that originate from the Middle East. Her work plunges her into a web of lies, intrigue, stabbings-in-the-back, and crime. She is exposed to a very dark and dangerous world and it will take more than her intelligence to come out alive. Meanwhile, her childhood sweetheart, Bryce St. James still has strong feelings for her. He has been very successful as a financial expert, leading one of the departments of a Swedish bank. Can he reconnect with his former lover and create the carefree life he once lived?

J. William Patrick's novel is well-plotted and the conflict is built on realities that are current. The key characters are sophisticated and multidimensional, each an expert in their field. The reader is introduced to the characters in the opening chapters and the conflict is defined right from the start of the story. Crime and murder are the two main themes of the story. The novel is suspenseful and the shifts in plotlines enhance the suspense and keep readers longing to know what happens next. The streams of consciousness, coupled with the skillful use of soliloquy, add depth to the characters and allow for an intimate connection between the reader and the characters. Elocution Lessons: A Novel is deft and balanced, with a strong appeal to adult readers who enjoy fast-paced stories and language that is downright raw. It was a fun read for me.

Sefina Hawke

Elocution Lessons by J. William Patrick is an action-adventure novel that would appeal most to a mixed audience of mature young adults and adults who enjoy stories similar to Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones, and Pulp Fiction and who do not mind graphic violence, strong language, and sexual content. Tina Wood is a linguist whose life takes an interesting turn when she is hired as a consultant by the FBI to translate a Middle Eastern document. What should have been routine translation work quickly ends up pulling Dr. Wood into an international intrigue that will require her to use all of her skills and smarts just to survive. Does Tina Wood have what it takes to not only survive but also succeed, or will she crumble?

Elocution Lessons by J. William Patrick is a well-written book with an intriguing cover that hints at a strong female main character and romance. My initial impression of the book from the cover was spot on as Tina Wood proved herself to be a strong character with the smarts and intelligence needed to handle the obstacles in her path. It was Tina Wood’s character that kept me interested in the book as I felt a connection with her and a need to discover how her story would end. The author did a good job of balancing the action, violence, and sexual content to keep me from becoming bored or overwhelmed. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and I hope the author decides to continue to write in this genre.

Rabia Tanveer

Elocution Lessons: A Novel by J. William Patrick is the story of greed and murder as an FBI consultant is trying to untangle a web of lies and deceit. Tina Wood is a smart woman. She is an exceptional linguist, she has her expertise and she knows that she is the best at what she does. So when she is hired as an FBI consultant to translate some documents, she takes the job thinking that this will be a good challenge for her. However, the more she translates the documents, the more she realizes how she is stuck in a web of lies and deceit. Trying to stay alive is her priority now, but so is getting the job done. How can she complete her assignment when she meets a dead end at every corner? With liars and schemers trying to derail her, can she even trust anyone around her?

Oh boy, this was a bumpy ride that I enjoyed a lot. The author is correct in saying that this is the perfect mixture of Lara Croft and Pulp Fiction. This novel has the perfect amount of action, adventure, suspense, mystery, and romance to give you a wholesome package. The story was exceptionally developed, the author gave the characters enough room to grow and ensured that they were well-paced. I was amazed at how the author tied up the loose ends one by one until the conclusion so that the reader had the interest and the motivation to read on, delve a little deeper and try to find out what was happening. I loved this book. I got an adrenaline rush just by reading it!