The Freedom Building by Martin Kendall

Review by Lauren

The Freedom Building centers around John Gowan, who awakens in a hospital with amnesia only to discover that he’s the mastermind architect behind a renowned building erected in place of one destroyed by terrorists. However, he faces a challenge when a mysterious darkness prevents him from remembering anything about the building. Will John uncover the truth about his creation before his secrets unravel?

While compelling, “The Freedom Building” has shortcomings in scene transitions, narrative redundancy, and pacing. Initially, the portrayal of John’s relationship with his colleague, Janice, is friendly but professional. (Con'd below)

The sudden transition to a romantic encounter between them feels abrupt. The scene swiftly jumps from “He headed home over the dark hills” to “As they had sex...” A similar awkward scene transition occurs with the protagonist in his car. He takes a phone call from Mann, who asks John if he wants to chat. The following line indicates that the two men are sitting in a pub. Paragraph separation could enhance these transitions.

Though rich with the main character’s thoughts, the narrative lacks momentum. Following John’s head injury, he is stuck, unable to move forward in life, making every circumstance involving him repetitive and slow. The story hits a prolonged plateau akin to a ‘shampoo, lather, rinse, repeat’ cycle. Despite this, I persisted out of sheer curiosity about the narrative’s direction.

I appreciated the authentic use of British language in the story, such as ‘multi-storey’ for the parking garage and ‘lift’ for the elevator, which added to its ambiance. The story’s pacing is sluggish; however, I found the final chapters engaging. Kendall skillfully injects excitement with an unexpected twist and a cliffhanger conclusion, hinting at the possibility of a sequel.

In summary, Martin Kendall’s “The Freedom Building” delves into one man’s profound mental anguish as he grapples with the quest for purpose in his life as well as a resolution to his problems. This novel caters to fans of psychological thrillers and terrorist plots, offering a slow-burning exploration of a troubled psyche. 

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