Brilliant. One of those books where you believe you've started on even ground, your opinions set, and as the book goes on they slowly shift. I adoredBrilliant. One of those books where you believe you've started on even ground, your opinions set, and as the book goes on they slowly shift. I adored every moment, and even while I was doing other things my mind was in Rendell's world. Also, this is more a character study than one driven by plot, and often one of my biggest complaints about mysteries. So often characters are so flimsy as to be paper thin, as if the focus on plot allows one to forgo deep characterization.
By the last 40 pages it was actually difficult to finish because I didn't want it to end. I'm daydreaming about trips to the library to bring home a stack of Rendell's other books. If only I had access. Sigh!...more
I find the majority of mysteries I've read deliver paper thin, cliched characters. In my estimation, Gruber's greatest strength is that he doesn't sacI find the majority of mysteries I've read deliver paper thin, cliched characters. In my estimation, Gruber's greatest strength is that he doesn't sacrifice characterization for plot. The many tangents that are a common complaint with this book give one a real sense of the array of people in the story and while I couldn't stand Mishkin, I had a real soft spot for Crosetti and his family. An interesting juxtaposition in narrators. It's too bad the mystery portion was so lackluster.
While this book was good at first, it never became amazing and to some extent there really wasn't that much mystery. I never found myself on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out how things added up or questioning each character's motive and penchant for deception. When it comes down to it, it was just a race to the end because it would all be revealed then - I wasn't all that invested with anything more than finishing this one and giving it away by the time I was halfway through. In addition, the "clues" that alternate with each chapter, while an average of two pages, are mind-numbingly boring and I struggled often not to fall asleep during these little detours....more