Before I get to the list of things I did not like about this book, I must say that I was mesmerized by the middle of Smith’s novel. The retelling of his mission was done with eloquence and vivid detail. But this was the only part of the book that kept me reading. Every other page left me with disappointment, and I honestly did not want to finish the book.
I believe that Smith has a great storyline; I just feel the novel needs refinement and editing. The beginning of the book details his childhood and his abusive stepfather. I wanted more detail, more stories that dealt with this part of his life. The few he did tell, completely disturbed me but I enjoyed peering into his soul. I understand that these emotions are still raw, but I believe with some editing and more detail, the beginning of With Deepest Regrets would be transformed into a captivating novel.
The end of the novel also confuses me. I realize that since Smith is still alive and dealing with these emotions that there is no definite end to the story. However, adding in the emails between him and the publisher proved unnecessary. I did not need to know his struggle to get published since every novice author has to face these obstacles. Also, he glazes over the fact that his stepfather died. I want to know more about his emotions, his struggle with this discovery. I wanted to feel closer to Smith and yet I was confused with his journey after he survived his mission in Iraq. I wanted facts, emotions, and plot and instead was served a jumble of words that did not tie the story together.
This story has potential and even with the unfocused plot, grammatical errors, and stagnant ending, With Deepest Regrets was not a complete disaster. I sympathize with Smith’s struggle to come to terms with his mission and the death of his partner. I cannot imagine the obstacles he has faced and has yet to overcome. However, this book needs some desperate help from an editor.
*I received a free copy of the book for review. These are my honest and true opinions.