Thursday, March 03, 2011

Reading matters

Above all, this was superb value for money! It was a special offer at 5.99 Euros and the paperback gave over 700 pages of reading. Thus I had reading matter sufficient for all of my free evenings of an eventful week. 

Many reader reviews found the narrative meandering and clearly found it a less enjoyable read than I did. Cited below is one reviewer who criticises the heavy-handed sociology... Personally I find that my most favoured writers all use the thriller or mystery genre as a vehicle for trenchant social commentary. And I know, from my own efforts as a storyteller, how difficult it is to get the balance right.

"The device of interspersing the sociologist's report on a long-ago child murder was puzzling even though the reader is aware that it will eventually be linked with the main story. Without giving away any plot details, it does link and adds insight into why the story unfolded as it did and why some characters acted as they did. Yet, there is an awful lot of it and it casts a long miserable shadow. I kept wondering if it was all going to tie into the sad and, for many of us, unforgivable murder of Helen. I do wish that George would give heavy-handed sociology a rest. Sometimes she makes me long for the simplicity and black-and-white worldview of Agatha Christie. That sin, misery and stupidity roll down through the years and beget more of the same is not a surprise to anyone who thinks about these things - and mystery readers very often do."

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