I’m reading (or trying to read) a book called Hour of Judgement, by Susan R. Matthews.
Erch, it sucks.
Here’s a clue to all budding authors (and I say this with great authority as the author of exactly ZERO novels): Make me care about a character BEFORE you involve me in your character’s problems and conflicts.
If I don’t care about the character, I also won’t care about your elaborate plot and the intricate psychological issues which bedevil your protagonist. In fact, they’ll just bore me to death.