Book Review: Walking Into Trouble

Geoff LePard is a popular blogger ’round these parts, and some bloggers have been urging me to read his works for a while. So, when I received a review request from him through my Review Request Page, I knew I had to read it!

That being said, it’s not my usual genre, so hold onto your butts.

The Book

Walking Into Trouble
Author: Geoff LePard
2020
Amazon Link

As a note for people who are thinking about this book: there are a lot of intense sexual implications, innuendo, and scenes. The book is not erotica, but sex takes a front seat of importance in the story. I’d honestly classify this as a “sex mystery,” as the story is essentially about trying to solve problems surrounding who slept with who and when. Those who are triggered by intensely sexual content may want to be aware before reading the book (or, honestly, before reading my review).

Non-Spoiler Review

Walking Into Trouble is in a genre I’m not quite sure I’ve read before. It’s in this liminal space between mystery, soap, and contemporary. It has a very unique structure built around the central backbone of “three men on a long set of walks.” There’s a lot of timeline skipping and many different narrators, but LePard adds each piece of the puzzle in a sensible, understandable way. It’s hard to have a non- or semi-linear plot work out, and he pulled it off here. Another feat was how well he incorporated multiple narrators with this non-traditional plot structure.

The story also leaves you hanging while you wait for the next clue. It gives you red herrings, it leads down misbegotten paths and into deep truths, and it shoves you into desperate situations along with the characters. The problems faced by Chris, Marty, and Peter were very intense, and the combinations of their secret worries threatens to tear their friendship apart throughout the whole book. This constant drive kept the book engaging and held the tension through to the end.

One of the characters I enjoyed reading about the most was Felicity. She wasn’t a main character, but the role she played was essential to spreading just the right amount of rumors without solving anything. Her motivations were always a little cloudy (at least until the end) that you couldn’t quite trust her gossip. I thought she was well done.

Something that was difficult was how sleazy all of the characters (main or otherwise) were. I swear, if one of them contracted an STD, probably all of them would have caught it immediately. I couldn’t really identify with any of the three main characters or Diane because of how much sleeping around was done. All the sleeping around was necessary for the plot to work out (“who the baby daddy” was of course one of the main questions), though, so it made sense as I read. It was still probably the most difficult part of the book for me, and ultimately I think I’m not a big fan of the genre.

4/5 Discoball Snowcones

SPOILERS REVIEW

I don’t really do spoilers reviews for indie books, so I’m going to complain/whine/chat about something irrelevant.

What kind of walking trail puts you at a different city/town at the end of each day? A trail on which you can just head to a hotel after a day’s walk? I’ve never heard of such a thing. I’ve never hiked/backpacked/walked on a trail that worked that way in even the remotest fashion. Is that type of trail an English thing? Or am I just crazy and haven’t found one of those trails in America before?

Or, do they do lots of switcheroos with cars at either end of the day’s hike? However the methodology, the fact that the three main characters would walk for the day and then have *access to a hotel every night* blew my fricking mind. No eating spilled spaghetti off a rock? No bear bags or water purification tablets? What kind of walk was this!?!

Anyway, rant over.

Next week:

It’s time for Secrets of Plants in the Environment, my first non-fiction indie book read!

21 thoughts on “Book Review: Walking Into Trouble

  1. TanGental says:

    Thanks HRR, been a bit tied but delighted to come and find this and thank you for the effort. It’s not a genre I’ve written before, either, and not one I’ll attempt again I expect. As you rightly surmised the plot required a lot of sexual freedom which isn’t easy to write as well as read, but I’m glad I got my head around it and glad you think it worked.
    On your spoiler/rant, it seems strange to me that you’d find the idea of a linear walk with stopping off points hard to believe. I suppose when you live on such a crowded little island like this one you come to expect it. There are plenty of walks where camping as you go is needed but there are many, especially in Southern England where stopping in a town and finding accommodation is straight forward (even if it is wise to book ahead). I happen to know this is possible as I walked the Cotswolds way with my father and two friends back in the 1990s – indeed, Dad and I did many like this over a twelve year period. There are guidebooks that tell you how to, too!
    Thanks again.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Wow, there are real paths like that? I don’t think we have them here in the states! You go on a hiking trip, and you have to carry everything for weeks of journey or just find a day loop. 🙂

      • TanGental says:

        Yep loads. One of the beauties of our elongated history is those old pilgrim and trading routes with staging posts. There’s a fascinating history from the 1930s when those ancient rights which landowners were trying to usurp were the subject of mass protests. We’re lucky to have them

  2. TanGental says:

    Reblogged this on TanGental and commented:
    HRR Gorman has reviewed my previous book, below and it’s always intriguing to see how others see your work. Maybe I’ve stumbled on a previously undiscovered genre…
    Oh and her spoiler review… How many of you think a linear walk where you can find food and accommodation at the end of each day is strange? Maybe it’s one of those Anglo-American contradictions…
    Anyway, thanks HRR and please enjoy it everyone.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I definitely agree that this book is unique, and I’d agree that it’s unforgettable! I still think about the mystery of it sometimes, and I think it’s got significant staying power. Lends credence to its literary merit, methinks!

  3. trifflepudling says:

    The idea of walks with a place to stay at either end developed early on in Europe, particularly for religious pilgrimages. In more modern times, it’s very common for people to follow the older and newer ‘Ways’ and enjoy some ale, wine, a night’s sleep, a Full English the next morning and then onwards. I expect it’s easier in a small country like Britain to do this kind of thing than in the US, for example.
    For some reason I thought this book was going to be about Geoff’s dad and pals 😀!
    Interesting website, H.R.R. Gorman.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Haha, thanks! The longer hikes I’ve been on in America all require you to do backpacking or find a short loop. I like backpacking trips, but it’s always hard when you’re running low on water and facing the inevitability of having to use those nasty purification tablets! Blegh!

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