‘Caina’ by Joe Albanese


Twins Grant and Lee Tolan haven’t been getting along for quite some time. Grant is the smart one. Lee, not so smart and often in trouble. But when Lee finds himself owing rather a lot of money to some Very Bad Men, he seeks out his sibling in the hope of a helping hand. However, when he finds his brother dead, Lee is left with only one possible solution – switch identities.

This novella by Joe Albanese starts with a neat idea that drops the hero into a wonderfully complicated mess. The story romps along at a jolly pace and the voice of the main character is lively and likeable. My only issue is the changing point of view, which I always find irritating (starting with the hero telling the story then suddenly switching to the all-seeing narrator in order to tell us stuff the hero can’t possibly know). Other than that, it’s an entertaining tale of drugs, money and dead bodies that’ll please anyone who likes downtrodden and out-of-luck heroes who get a chance to turn things around.

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  14 comments for “‘Caina’ by Joe Albanese

  1. 15/04/2019 at 6:15 PM

    An interesting review, Colin. Your comments about POV are most useful. This is something I am working very hard on with my writing.


    • 15/04/2019 at 6:43 PM

      What’s most interesting is that a lot of authors use this different POV technique all the time, even though in terms of telling the story, it makes no sense to have ninety percent of the book seen though one person’s eyes and the rest through that of some all-seeing narrator’s. And of course, this isn’t the same as having several characters taking turns to tell the story (like in The Murder of Harriet Monckton), or where the reasons for having different POVs is obvious.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 13/04/2019 at 12:36 PM

    Interesting… I have a twin brother, so I was immediately drawn into the story idea, until I read that the twin died and the other takes the identity. YIKES, not what I would want to read.

    You must be a FAST reader, you really are wonderful in reviewing a lot of books.


    • 13/04/2019 at 2:09 PM

      Thanks for your comments. I’m not a fast reader, it’s just that I don’t have a life!


      • 13/04/2019 at 2:55 PM

        Ah, you made me laugh. YES YOU DO, you read and review. For me, I am working on a children’s picture book in my free time, so I don’t have a life either… but I am directed, so THAT is my life.

        Are you writing another book?

        You’d be a good critique partner. I like that you are honest with your reviews, especially if you feel a story was just not working.

        I met with someone last week to see if we would be a match as critique partners, but it would not work. It’s hard to find someone who understands what critiquing is about, ie, being brutally honest, while still finding good points in a story. LIKE AN EDITOR.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 13/04/2019 at 4:11 PM

        Have to admit I’m not always entirely honest, as sometimes my opinion on a piece of writing includes things the author won’t want to hear, and without knowing them better, I don’t want to go too far. Writing wise, I’m working on a few things just now – mainly the 2nd book in the Terry Bell series and the ongoing Watson Letters books. As always, too much to do, not enough time. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • 13/04/2019 at 4:34 PM

        Are your books in America?


      • 13/04/2019 at 5:58 PM

        Yes, you can get them on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Colin-Garrow/e/B014Z5DZD4 also on Smashwords, ibooks, Barnes and Noble etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 13/04/2019 at 6:11 PM

        Wow, OK, you are everywhere. If I were to “try,” got to find the time, to read one, which would you suggest to start with?


      • 13/04/2019 at 6:28 PM

        The Watson Letters books are the shortest, and are a Sherlock Holmes spoof, but I’d ignore the first one and start with the second, as it’s more interesting. If you like mysteries, the Christie McKinnon books are my own favourite (they’re aimed ad a younger audience, but it’s mainly adults who read them).

        Liked by 1 person

      • 13/04/2019 at 6:49 PM

        Ok, sounds good. I will start with Christie Mckinnon… Can I read them in any order? Sounds like there is more than one? Was Googling, hard to tell if there is an order to them.


      • 13/04/2019 at 6:57 PM

        The order doesn’t matter that much, but as most of the main characters appear in the first one, it makes sense to start with that: The hounds of Hellerby Hall.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 13/04/2019 at 11:34 PM

        Ok… it will take me a month or so, but I will get to it. THANK YOU!


      • 14/04/2019 at 2:07 PM

        Great 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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