I've read to page 148 and have decided to stop reading. The pacing is terribly slow, though the prose is beautiful and realistic, and the mystery itse...moreI've read to page 148 and have decided to stop reading. The pacing is terribly slow, though the prose is beautiful and realistic, and the mystery itself is solid. All of the characters are three-dimensional, flawed and human, but they, as is the plot itself, are kind of boring. I really wanted to give this series of books a shot because I watch the TV show "Longmire", which is as gritty and real as a cable TV show on at 10pm can be, and which I do enjoy watching. I just think this book isn't for me. I don't want to give up on the whole series just yet, so I might try another book in the series at some point.
Overall, I'm disappointed I couldn't get more into this book. I really wanted to like it, and at the beginning, I was excited to find the writing to be so good, and the main character emotionally wounded with a sort of self-depreciating sense of humor. I liked the supporting characters for the most part too, like Vic and Henry, but I just can't see any action happening in any of the near future for the plot. Also, it's a little hard to care about who might have murdered a rapist. (less)
**spoiler alert** I rate this about 3.5 stars. Overall, I enjoyed reading this. It was a good suspense with a decent mystery attached, and even though...more**spoiler alert** I rate this about 3.5 stars. Overall, I enjoyed reading this. It was a good suspense with a decent mystery attached, and even though it was a book in a series, it almost read as a stand-alone, not making a ton of references to characters or situations from other books in the series, so it was almost straightforward and easy to follow in that respect.
After being hinted at constantly throughout the whole book, the lost memory/identity of the serial killer seemed close to being revealed at the last 150 or so pages, so I actually spent a good chunk of hours reading to finish the book because I just wanted know, finally, what had happened. I was shocked by the memory, not because it was overly graphic but just by the reveal itself—the entire plot seems centered around Jessie's return to Baron Hollow, so why would the reader expect any other memory than her own to be uncovered? But what I found even more shocking was what happened to Jessie. I wasn't expecting her to be murdered. And since I don't know all that much about this series, I can't say for sure if she was more of a minor character or if this was "her" series. (I guess it couldn't have been if she died.)
I think the author did a good job with throwing suspicion on one character for the majority of the book and then kept the reader guessing till practically the end of the identity of the serial killer. Still, I wish there would have been a bit more in the last few chapters, maybe about the victims, or even with what Emma might do now—for example, will she join Haven now, less to take Jessie's place and more just to develop her own presumed psychic abilities and to leave Baron Hollow's unpleasantness for good? I had hoped that the identity of the spirit wearing the outdated winter clothing would be revealed, or that we'd even see a little more of her, since apparently Hollis Templeton and Nathan Navarro could both see her. I also hoped Emma and Jessie would have been able to reconnect, but maybe, in a way, they did. It would have been nice also to learn a little more about Dan and his rose tattoo and why he was so twisted and evil (if there was a reason at all).
I also wished there had been a little more with Nellie, since she seemed like an interesting character, not the sort of throwaway that I initially thought of her, just being another casual lover to apparently-still-a-stud-well-into-his-adulthood Victor. It would have been nice to see her investigative journalistic skills in action, rather than just hearing about it much later that she talked to people or had info faxed to her.
Other than a sufficient lack of closure, I wasn't really fond of the author's choice of telling things too often rather than showing them. For a good example—Jessie's sudden death. We get that in one sentence from Emma's perspective, merely telling Nathan (and the audience) that Jessie is dead. Reading it, I had a lot of "WAIT, WHAT??" moments, even skipping ahead to confirm that Jessie was indeed dead. The only other thing that bothered me was the cliche of female victims, even strong women. Carol Preston, and later, Jessie Rayburn, were both women who seemed to know how to take care of themselves. Yet, they were overpowered easily and apparently psychologically tortured before being physically tortured, and then just offed. And then there was Nellie at the end, almost attacked and killed, but is rescued by Nathan. There were also references to Hollis, a petite, frail looking woman (also a SCU agent), confronting killers by herself, but without meaning to.
I don't know what it is with these types of series that always make women, and seemingly only women, out of to be victims, even the strongest women who are FBI agents or such. It's gross and sexist. Men are villains or heroes, but only women are victims.
Anyway, I think I may try another book in this series, just for the idea that is sort of unique—harnessing psychics to be private investigators and FBI agents for the "special" kinds of crimes that require a special kind of investigative style.
Excellent read, well-written, beautiful prose with a highly detailed plot and realistic, human, fascinating characters. I loved delving further and fu...moreExcellent read, well-written, beautiful prose with a highly detailed plot and realistic, human, fascinating characters. I loved delving further and further into these characters' lives and relationships, as well as watching each separate subplot dovetail the closer to the end of the novel I went. I was also pleased with the spare amount of romance in the story—just enough for a tease without becoming some full-blown Harlequin romance (always appreciated). Looking forward to reading the next book in the series. (less)
Le sigh. I hesitate to put this on my "disliked books" shelf, but I just couldn't get into the story. I read about 72 pages and was just sort of bored...moreLe sigh. I hesitate to put this on my "disliked books" shelf, but I just couldn't get into the story. I read about 72 pages and was just sort of bored. I sort of wanted to continue because I haven't ever read Raymond Chandler before or the "noir style" type of writing and I wanted to give both a good chance, but maybe this just wasn't the right book of Chandler's to start with. The strange part is that I sort enjoyed the quirky-ish writing style of the noir, but I also felt like I'd rather watch a noir film than read a noir book. (I was reminded of a time I turned on TCM in the middle of the night when they were showing "The Lady In The Lake" and the character of Phillip Marlowe was being played by the camera—so the audience saw from this odd first person POV literally, and it was a little too much for me to take. On a similar note, I couldn't stop thinking about an episode of Castle that I love called "The Blue Butterfly" that is done in the noir film style which kept throwing my contraction of this novel's plot off.)
I think I will try another Raymond Chandler novel, maybe "The Big Sleep" and give the noir style another chance. (less)