A book review blog. Updated sporadically as my reading record of late has been abysmal.
All reviews are written by me and are my personal views only. Comments welcome.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Review: DEAD OF WINTER - Rennie Airth
Title: The Dead of Winter Author: Rennie Airth Publisher: Pan Macmillan Published: 2008 ISBN: 978 0 230 73696 2 RRP $32.99 (Aus) THE DEAD OF WINTER is the third in the the John Madden series. The first novel, River of Darkness took place in England just after World War I. DEAD OF WINTER is set in London in 1944 when a young Polish woman is garroted on the streets of a darkened city street. She is on her way to visit her aunt. Police begin investigating. John Madden, recently retired from the police force becomes involved because the young woman was living and working on his farm. The young woman was universally liked and no one can figure out a motive for her death. She wasn’t robbed, she wasn’t sexually assaulted. The case becomes more complex when a prostitute who saw the girl tells the police she thought a man was following her. The prostitute is later found murdered in the same manner. It ‘s not often that I don’t finish a review book. I feel obligated to read the entire book in order to do justice to the review. Sadly, I had to give up on THE DEAD OF WINTER. Not because it was a necessarily a poorly written book. I don’t think it is. I have read worse and finished them. So why did I give up at page 197 of a 408 page book? I ran headlong into one of my pet peeves. This particular peeve is when the author pauses the plot to give the back story of a character. It’s all very fine and dandy for a couple of major characters but when the reader is being told the history of minor characters it becomes a major distraction. That’s what happened in this case. Do we really need to know the history of the relationship between the main character and the local village bobby, who up until i stopped reading the book had a very minor role. If this had been a movie it would have been with half a dozen lines. When that was all I was noticing I decided to call it quits. This may be unfair to the author, but everyone has their quirks and Rennie Airth ran into one of mine. For a less biased perspective perhaps read Michael Ripley's review on Eurocrime (http://www.eurocrime.co.uk/reviews/TDoW.jpg) or Nick Hay’s review on Reviewing the Evidence http://www.reviewingtheevidence.com/review.html?id=8155