Well hello page-turner with the nice bonus of giving me another new author to bore through.
And bore through it I did. Truthfully it didn’t help that I had a lot of time on my hands since I had a bout of insomnia that my mom’s sworn remedy of Sleepy Time Tea only worsened with a racing heart (sorry mom! but ok, it may have been the chocolate cake too). I finished it in a jiffy and it almost seems like I’m back to my old reading habits of pushing through a book quickly in order to find more of its kind, or in any effort to lose myself in a story and end up stumbling over a great writer.
I can’t even pinpoint right down to the nub why I enjoyed this book so immensely. I had a discussion with my mom about writers and how I’m struggling through another book. I truly believe a writer is more than just a brilliant mind putting words onto paper. The characters must seem real, even if they aren’t based in our real world (as in Gandalf, or Mr. Tumnus) and if they don’t seem believable or the words on the page, although extensive, seem shallow, the entire book falls apart. There must be a story.
This is a great story. If you aren’t a mystery/crime reader, this book could even be for you because it’s much more than just murder/mystery fiction. It’s believable, descriptive, not always perfect characters who are weaved into a story line. What was amazing to me is too often mystery writers will have so many characters, often police/detectives, that you start to forget who is who, but that didn’t happen here. I always knew who each character was and what their part in the story was. I cannot say that this story stood out hugely against many others, but it did for me because the characters were different profiles from most of the others written about. Yes, the main character/Lieutenant is a man, stereotypically, and yes, it’s set in L.A. but when you have a city that size, the amount of murders going on in books like this seem more believable. Plus, the guy’s not an asshole, which is such a nice change!
The story doesn’t just revolve around the one Lieutenant either, and it doesn’t always follow him through every chapter and I think that is the main reason the rest of the characters stood out as well as they did. Each were given their own turn in the spotlight. It does follow the Lieutenant through his newest cases, one of which leaves him with an extra person in his house he didn’t have before. The cases presented intertwine throughout the story, but aren’t linked together, and still stay separately interesting.
The best part was I didn’t guess the ending. I don’t always guess endings in murder books, but the moment I do, I tend to put away that author as it becomes too easy. I like the suspense.
This book was 536 pages, finished in a scant 3 days (my daughter read it in 2). I did put it down, but only because I had to. It gets 8 G-String dollars. This writer is going down on my list so I can go back in the right order to read the rest of her novels. Strangely enough, I think part of the reason it didn’t get top dollar is because I read it out of order. It seems this is another series type where a mystery writer pens different books with the same main characters. If I had read them in order, I’m sure I’d have more good things to say about her writing, but I can’t because I didn’t know there was an order.
P.S. Can I just put this out there to any publishers that may read this, or even the authors. Can you please start numbering your books? Many of us readers have almost a slight compulsion to read these books in order, so just a small number on the cover somewhere would be super handy. Make sure it’s on the front because libraries cover up a good portion of the spine, unless you put it smack dab in the middle of the title as Sue Grafton did with all of her books (A to .. what is she on now, U?). That’d be great.