Cameron Bane’s Pitfall is an action packed thriller that captures adventure, humor, and twists within its pages. John Brenner, an ex-cop and war vet, must use all his military and detective skills in searching for a missing girl, and along his investigation finds himself entangled in a corrupt organization lead by ruthless killers. Though it follows the equation for the typical “missing girl conspiracy” story, Pitfall is a fun detective read worth it if you are seeking thrills.
Right away, Pitfall throws you into the action. The first chapter opens up with John in the middle of a gun fight, and from there on out, the majority of the novel digs into how he got there. One of Pitfall’s strongest traits is the voice of John; his one-liners and witty humor come straight out of classic detective novels. John even breaks the fourth wall at times, addressing the reader. He is full of references in regards to pop culture that are used to help describe other characters and places to the reader. Other characters in the novel, however, fall short and come off as static stereotypes.
The story is very typical for anyone who has spent time with thrillers and other detective novels. One could think of it as a “detective fan’s take on detective novels”; it’s fun and full of strong elements that make for riveting detective stories. There isn’t anything that is incredibly deep or immensely thought provoking about the plot, but the purpose of the story acts as a fun ride and page-turner. The novel also does a superb job of pace and setting. Page after page the transition of movements flow and it’s very difficult to lose place. Beyond exposition, nothing is too slow or too fast and place is always fleshed out just enough so that the author’s description is there, with enough room for the reader to also imagine. There is also a great sense of description when describing physical action. When Bane describes a fight scene the detail in how body parts move and damage done is incredible. We can see the weapons, where they are going and what they hit. We can see the blood, cuts and bruises; Bane creates a wonderful painting of action in each scene.
Despite being a bit exposition heavy, Pitfall is an amazing read and a great homage to pulp fiction novels.