I'm sure this is a very good book, hence the National Book Award Finalist medal. However, I spent the entirety of this novel horrified and sick to myI'm sure this is a very good book, hence the National Book Award Finalist medal. However, I spent the entirety of this novel horrified and sick to my stomach. The main character is delusional and despicable. I wanted to know consequences, but lord knows there probably weren't any. I wanted to know why the sisters hated Rollo, or why Ray was unhealthy, but none of it was addressed. I imagine it was technically good, and definitely different. But I will never read it again....more
Maybe I’m just not meant for the genre. It is entirely possible that A.D. Scott’s latest novel is a work of brilliance in the world of mystery titles Maybe I’m just not meant for the genre. It is entirely possible that A.D. Scott’s latest novel is a work of brilliance in the world of mystery titles, but I would never guess. The story opens with journalist McAllister (does he have a first name?) being called in to the morgue to identify a body – it turns out to be an employee of his, Mrs. Smart. When he delivers the news to his team that she has been murdered, nobody takes it as hard as Don McLeod, who drinks himself into a stupor before being arrested for the murder. All signs point to it being true – a secret relationship, a large inheritance, his filleting knife found as the murder weapon – but Don’s friends know that his silence does not mean guilt, but instead protection of the deceased. McAllister and Rob, fellow reporter and son of the defense attorney, set off on a seemingly-endless search for the true killer. Along the way, they discover secrets of her past, her relationship with Don, and her history with the nomad/gypsy/traveler/tinker Jenny McPhee, to whom Mrs. Smart bequeathed an expensive allotment. Meanwhile, Neil Stewart, an academic man from Canada has come to the Highlands in search of history to complete his doctorate. Learning of the difficult situation at the Highland Gazette, he offers his services to assist the paper while they are down two employees and the rest are distracted. It takes little time before he charms Joanne Ross, reporter and single mother, into a whirlwind romance. In time, it becomes apparent that he has his own business with the mysterious Jenny McPhee. I did not start to find this book interesting until the last fifty pages. I found the plotting slow-moving and the ‘surprise twists’ to be obvious to anyone halfway decent at recognizing foreshadowing. What also bothered me was that there was practically no character development whatsoever; I considered this somewhat excusable for several characters, since this is the third book in a series, but some were being introduced for the first time and still merited minimal growth. Some bits of explanation and dialogue left me scrunching my eyebrows and thinking, “Yes, well, duh.” I did appreciate Scott’s flare for describing inner conflict, especially for Joanne’s romance. I also enjoyed those last few chapters, when everything started coming together and there were some actual revelations instead of obvious ‘twists’. Despite all this, and despite how excited I was that I was enjoying how things came together, the end ruined the entire novel for me. Of course, I won’t spoil the ending for anyone, but personally, it ruined what merit the book had. If you love mysteries, give this one a shot and prove me wrong. If you are not very familiar with the mystery genre, this should not be your gateway novel. You might never pick one up again. Literary merit: 2 out of 5 Enjoyment: 1.2 out of 5...more
Surprisingly fascinating. Keeps your interest, definitely, and Graham Greene has a way of wording things that makes you think, "Wow, that's an apt desSurprisingly fascinating. Keeps your interest, definitely, and Graham Greene has a way of wording things that makes you think, "Wow, that's an apt description."
I heard the movie is worth watching, but as always, read the book first. ...more
Closer to a 3.5 due to all the math parts I had to skip over... A lot of the math is accessible and is just a way to explain the characters, but some pCloser to a 3.5 due to all the math parts I had to skip over... A lot of the math is accessible and is just a way to explain the characters, but some parts I had to skim. A really beautiful story, though. I would recommend it to most people. :)...more